Donkey Sanctuary Ethiopia is one of the overseas projects of The Donkey Sanctuary Working Worldwide, UK. It is fully funded and technically supported by the same animal welfare charity in the UK. The charity started providing free health care services to working donkeys and mules in the vicinity of Debre Zeit within 100-150km radius in four districts (Ada, Akaki, Boset, Bereh), based in the School of Veterinary Medicine, Addis Ababa University since 1994. Later it included more districts within the indicated radius around Debre Zeit. In 2003, the charity expanded to Amhara and Tigray regions in the north, and the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) in the south. These regions and Oromia make up about 96% of the donkey population in the country; yet through our services we reach far less than 10% of the population. The charity has two stationary clinics (Debre Zeit and Markato Donkey Clinics) operating under the University and five mobile clinics fully operating in the regions.
The country office is established in Addis Ababa coordinating and directing the developments in Ethiopia in the interest of The Donkey Sanctuary UK. Projects in Amhara, Southern Nations and Nationalities Peoples Regional State (SNNPRS), and now Tigray operate directly with the country office. The partnership project with the university, Debre Zeit based project, receive technical and financial support while the management is under the School of Veterinary Medicine. Recently, we have submitted a five – year project proposal to work with Alage Technical and Vocational Training College. The College is the only institution in the country producing middle level animal health professionals.
Nationally, the Donkey Sanctuary is one of the core members of the Animal Welfare Working Group, established under the Ministry of Agriculture to promote animal welfare. The other members are Brooke Ethiopia, SPANA, Society of Animal Welfare, and Ethiopian Veterinary Association. The objectives are to learn and share experiences, jointly advice and sensitize policy makers and develop common understanding of the priorities for improvement of animal welfare in the country. It avoids duplication of efforts and accelerates and consolidates changes in the quality of animal lives.
The Donkey Sanctuary as a pioneer animal welfare charity in the country strives to develop a centre of excellence in donkey health and welfare for students, professionals, direct beneficiaries and institutions affiliated with equine welfare to ensure primary donkey health care in Ethiopia. However, the charity’s current scope is far less than the national demand. We seek further technical and financial assistance from people, institutions or individuals who share the vision. The Donkey Sanctuary Ethiopia is dedicated to help donkeys who faithfully continued to serve the multitude. Helping donkeys is helping the poor.