|A healthy working animal can increase a
farming family's income by up to 500% and buying an animal is a big investment for a
family. If the animal becomes sick or dies not only the animal suffers, but its owners
suffer too. The Gambia is one of the poorest countries in Africa and is unable to provide
all the veterinary support that the farmers require, so when the animals become ill,
sometimes the owners are simply unable to find help for it.
Keeping horses and donkeys healthy in The Gambia is a real challenge; insect
borne diseases such as Sleeping Sickness (Trypanosomiasis), African Horse Sickness, and
tick fever are all too common and when these problems are combined with poor nutrition and
management caused by lack of knowledge and poverty, the results can be disastrous for the
The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust has now been running for
eighteen years and over those years its remit has broadened. It became clear to us that we
could not simply promote equine welfare, we needed to promote good welfare to ALL animals.
In 2015 we held a residential workshop for students of the
University of The Gambia in conjunction with a German animal welfare charity. It was
remarkable how at the end of the week, after learning with the animals, how relaxed the
students were with them and how much empathy had built up as a result of our evening
discussions. These students were so enthusiastic that they went on to form The Animal
Welfare Advocates. They are a group in their own right and carry out their own
fundraising. Many of those students are now graduated and are stationed throughout the
country. The ripples of animal Welfare are spreading.
In many countries if someone found a sick or stray dog it
would be referred to an appropriate dog charity, in The Gambia, although we do have one
charity doing sterling work helping stray dogs, it does not have facilities to hospitalise
or keep dogs in need. The growing band of Animal Advocates were identifying animals in
need of help and not all of them were horses and donkeys. We felt that these passionate
caring people needed support and encouragement in their quest to help animals in need and
as there was nowhere else for them to turn to we took the patients in. The vast majority
of our patients are still horses and donkeys but we are treating and rehoming a growing
number of cats and dogs as well. We have also included canines in our school education
programme in an attempt to teach children empathy and we hope that by understanding dogs a
little better, the children will also be able to avoid the danger of Rabies.
|We believe in providing the
Gambian people with the skills and knowledge to prevent and solve their own problems,
creating a long term, sustainable solution.
heavily upon dedicated volunteers who offer their time and services to help us, and we
employ a team of local Gambian staff. The GHDT is a small charity that has had many great
achievements, but to continue this work your support is urgently sought. We need your help
and we make every single penny count. Our aims are achieved through a variety of projects