Have-a-Heart-Mobile (Namibia) Looks Ahead to 2018 & Beyond
So that we (AKI) fully understand our partners' needs and can provide that information to you, our supporters, we talk regularly to our partners about their daily work, their challenges, their goals. But at the end of 2017, we dug deeper and asked our partners a set of questions: We told them that before answering, they should spend some time thinking about the questions, talk to their staff, volunteers, supporters, and also to us. As Have A Heart-Mobile supporters, I thought you'd be interested in reading HAH's responses (along with some of our favorite pictures from 2017 of HAH-Mobile at work): 1. In thinking about the upcoming 5 years, how do you envision your organization and programs? Our main goal/direction will remain spay/neuter, as well as basic medical services for township animals in Namibia's rural areas and education for pet owners. The long term goal is to grow and offer our services to more and more animals in need! We are currently on the road, on average, one week a month, and in 2018 we will have for the first time Dr. Maya doing follow up visits and treatments in separate trips. During one spay day we are able to operate an average number of 25 animals, this costs us on about N$ 13,250 (US$ 1049.50) per spay day for 20 dogs and 5 cats. We spend N$ 550 (US$ 43.50) per dog and N$ 450 (US$ 35.60) per cat for the sterilisation operation, parasite treatment, vitamin injection and vaccination. Additionally, on an average spay day we spend US$ 20 – 50 on basic medial/emergency care, this might be used on dogs, cats horses, or donkeys. The Mobile Animal Clinic is rented by Have a Heart for the spay days and we only have to pay for the material needed as the running costs of the clinic (e.g. petrol, salary) are covered by the Lafrenz Trust and accommodation during the trips is mainly sponsored, so 100% of AKI donations are spent directly on medical and sterilisations costs.
2. Aside from financial: (a) Currently, what are your greatest challenges? Our biggest challenge is the distance we need to travel between townships in Namibia and with that the amount of time we “lose” by being on the road. For example to travel to Katima Mulilo we have to drive over 1,200 kilometers. On the long term we will need a second team stationed in the North or in the very far future even full time teams for the spay/neuter service, but we are not yet ready to plan something like this. (b) In thinking about the upcoming 5 years, what are the main constraints to achieving your vision? Our main constraints to grow and/or achieve our vision of being the first no kill country will be money, time, and staff. Regarding money we will keep on fundraising, trying to look into different directions. Due to Namibia being one of the countries worldwide with the lowest population densities, professional staff are often hard to find. We have big hopes for the current Vet Students at Namibia University. From next year every Vet student has to travel with Dr. Baines' Mobile Animal Clinic during spay days. The first year vet students will finish at the end of 2019, and in case one of the students shows a great interest in running his/her own mobile clinic for spay/neuter service in under-served areas, we will try to get financial support for this.
3. What do you think your organization does particularly well? We have great contact to the less fortunate communities; pet owners all over Namibia understand the advantages of spay/neuter and many wait for hours to have their animal sterilised or helped by us. We get often asked to stay longer, come back more often and go to several more towns. However, unfortunately in most towns we have to send many people looking for help, away and ask to come back next time. This feedback from the community shows us that we are on the right way! The demand is always higher than we are able to do. 4. In what areas do you think your organization needs to improve? In order to grow more we will have to take the next big step and move Have a Heart to a more professional level with full time employees in the area of admin and fundraising/advertising. We are currently three volunteers doing the admin and fundraising/advertising work along side other full time jobs, and it stretches us to our limits. *****
In HAH-Mobile's October 2017 newsletter, they said this about AKI support:
"Although we help hundreds of animals during our spay trips, every dog and cat is truly special to us. We often are called upon to help beyond the routine spay, neuter and vaccination and thanks to the generous, on-going support of Animal-Kind International, we are able to provide such help."
AKI's 1st 2 disbursements of 2017 to HAH-Mobile were used to sterilize 18 dogs, 5 cats, and provided vitamins, parasite treatment, and other vet care for many cats, dogs, donkeys, and a few horses (and HAH-Mobile still has some money left over to use later!) We don't yet have the information about what our last AKI disbursement of 2017 accomplished (HAH-Mobile received it in December 2017), but we'll get that info to you as soon as it's available.
Thank you very much to our AKI-HAH-Mobile supporters for helping HAH-Mobile have a successful 2017. We hope that we can count on your support during 2018 as we continue to work together to make Namibia the 1st No Kill Country!