Regina lends a helping hand
12-year-old Regina embraces a message of compassion towards working animals through Together for Animals member SPANA’s humane welfare education classes in Tanzania.
Regina lives with her parents and two sisters in a remote region of Tanzania. Her family supports themselves through subsistence farming – raising livestock including cattle, sheep, goats and chickens. To help them with the difficult task of feeding and looking after so many animals, Regina’s family relies heavily on the support of their two trusty donkeys.
Thanks to SPANA’s work with partner organisation the Tanzania Animal Welfare Society (TAWESO), Regina is developing important knowledge about how to better care for her family’s donkeys and give them happier, healthier lives. SPANA works closely with animal welfare organisations like TAWESO, which are already known and trusted in their local communities. Through a specially designed curriculum of fun, interactive educational materials, SPANA provides TAWESO with the tools to train local teachers in humane welfare education.
When Regina comes home from one of SPANA’s education classes, she is excited to share her new-found knowledge about animal husbandry with her parents and siblings. Through these classes, Regina is learning how to provide good care for her donkeys and ensure they have healthier, happier working lives. Regina learns about subjects like the importance of correct, comfortable harnessing and how to avoid problems by providing her donkeys with padded equipment. She is now aware of other basic donkey needs, such as proper food, shelter, and humane treatment.
So far, her favourite part of SPANA’s education programme has been learning the five freedoms of animals, which include ‘freedom from hunger and thirst’ and ‘from pain, injury and disease’. The message stressed in these classes, that striking animals does not make them work any faster and only hurts them, has really resonated with Regina. As a result of this lesson, she is encouraging her family and neighbours to take a different approach to working with donkeys – one that benefits both the animals and owners alike.
Thanks to SPANA’s education programme, inhumane practices are slowly changing, and the message of good animal husbandry is spreading among future working animal owners in some of the most remote regions.