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Long Term Aid

Feed a man today; he goes hungry tomorrow.  Teach a man to fish; feed him then, for life.

I thought it the coolest thing last year that with my earned points on my credit card, I could purchase a goat as this was offered as one of the reward points choices.  Why would I want a goat?

The card is a World Vision card where a small percentage of the amount I spend on the card is donated to World Vision.  This was appealing when looking into what sort of credit card I would get.  But all the better that it accumulates points and with these I can do further shopping.

World Vision are linked in with my credit card provider and for a particular number of points, I could purchase and donate a goat to a poverty stricken community, positively impacting a family and community over the long term.  Giving money through the use of my credit card is a short term answer, providing an animal that produces milk and can generate an income is a long term solution.

If something from my routine can benefit another (like the use of my credit card) then I’m all for it!  But where do the horses come into it, you ask?

The Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust “was established to reduce rural poverty by increasing productivity of working horses and donkeys through animal welfare and management education.” It seems the donkeys have already been provided and are making a massive difference in the income of their owners, but their state of being is questionable.

The Gambia Trust is planning to hold a couple of shows in November with the aim to reward those who take good care of their donkeys and make available education and resources to continue to do so.

“The classes were initially judged purely on condition and handling, but we are also gradually including conformation in an attempt to encourage selective breeding.”

Donkey bit and bridle currently used.The shows have been a big hit, helping to alleviate ignorance with regards to care of horses and donkeys and provide a place for the community to sell food and beverages to visitors from further afield.

The Gambia Trust also provides basic veterinary care at their centre and mobile clinics at local markets.  Training is also provided in schools, at college level and to farmer groups.  On top of this, the centre is also being used for harness makers to improve on what is currently being used and the training of farriers.

Volunteers from the UK come out to help judge, organise and steward these events that aim to make such an impact.  Perhaps the idea of helping out here is slowly forming?

“A horse doesn’t care how much you know until he knows how much you care.” – Pat Parelli

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