The Donkey Sanctuary UK made a 25 years commitment to change the plight of donkeys with Addis Ababa University
Dr Elisabeth D Svendsen MBE, founder and CEO of the Donkey Sanctuary made a 25 years agreement (1995 _ 2020) to end the suffering of working donkeys in Ethiopia. The duration of the project is the maximum life of working donkeys in Ethiopian. Dr Svendsen, owner of honorary degrees from Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh visited Ethiopia, just before the fall of the Dergue regime to see the plight of donkeys, and decided to make a long term commitment.
In 1999, she gave priority to construct a donkey hospital, the first of its kind in Africa, exclusively for the benefit of working donkeys in Ethiopia. The hospital is fully equipped with standard operation room for equids, a laboratory and emergency rooms. The hospital is no longer limited to routine health care of donkeys, but for training clinical year students of the veterinary college of the university and as a training hub for emerging Donkey Sanctuary projects. Through this facility the charity reaches over hundred thousand donkeys every year since then.
The Donkey Sanctuary UK constructed a donkey welfare clinic in Addis Ababa, Mesalemia area to provide regular health care to grain market donkeys, in 2008. It was upon the request of the donkeys owners in Markato grain market. Before the construction of the clinic, a team of experts from the Debre Zeit based project visits the grain market the first Saturday each month for over 4 years. The clinic was inaugurated by David Cook, CEO of the Donkey Sanctuary and Professor Andreas Eshete, the then President of the University, Professor Feseha, project leader as well as college officials and project staff.
The charity was issued a license in August 2008 just a year after its application to the Ethiopian Embassy in London. The need of registering as a foreign charity was to effectively and efficiently coordinate the activities of the organization towards realizing the vision of the Donkey Sanctuary in Ethiopia. The country office, based in Addis Ababa, represents the views of the organization, and provides leadership and technical support to all charity projects in Ethiopia. We hope that NGO position will give us access to local and international forum to collaborate with affiliated institutions. We do not run Sanctuary in Ethiopia; we work to improve donkey welfare while it is under the care of its owner. Improving donkey welfare ultimately contributes to owner’s livelihoods, which in turn necessitates bridging between animal welfare charities and humanitarian aids who ultimately share the same community.