Schools are the best hubs where the personality of the future generations is shaped depending on the comprehensiveness of the existing curriculum. However, currently, animal welfare education does not form part of the national curriculum in Ethiopia. The donkey sanctuary Ethiopia works with relevant parties to address this gap through session based animal welfare education to target grade students and establishing animal welfare clubs. The Donkey Sanctuary developed animal welfare education handbook and facilitate teachers training on animal welfare so as to support the session based education.
Donkey welfare problems are deep rooted in the knowledge and attitude of donkey owning communities. Intervention to address donkey welfare problems should therefore, engage the community at the heart of its strategies. To this end, The Donkey Sanctuary Ethiopia works with rural and urban communities with an intension of enhancing the knowledge, attitude and practice of donkey owning communities and the general public towards improved welfare of donkeys through collaborative efforts. The existing community based institutions such as local administrative structures, Idirs (social and economic support system) and religious groups are engaged in disseminating proper message on donkey care and management practice that would eventually contribute towards improved donkey welfare. They make use of religious congregations, mourning events and public meetings to convey the intended donkey welfare message. The main actor among the community based institutions is the Animal Welfare Committee which embraces 10-15 members composed of Kebele administrator, Kebele manager, women Representative, youth representatives, religious leaders, community elders, development agents, school representatives, donkey owners and users. Currently there are ____ Community Animal Welfare committees consisting of ____ members (___ male and ___female) in all project operation areas. These committees are believed to have legitimate mandate from relevant government sector to sustainably ensure animal welfare at community level with a prospect of scaling up the best practices and experiences at national level.
While other livestock started enjoying the benefits of veterinary science a bit longer donkeys in Ethiopia had to wait until the last two decades. There was a longstanding belief that “sick donkeys never heal”. Even where there are Vets there was reluctance from many owners to bring donkeys to the Vets attention. Rather they resort to traditional therapies which end up complicating the cases further. Donkeys do not show signs of illness until it is too late resulting loss of cases even after treatment. Even when the owner is brave enough to bring his donkey to the Vet; there was very little interest and confidence to treat donkeys in a clinic leaving out the lack of medicines & equipment to do proper treatment.