'On the Wildcoast of South Africa's Eastern Cape, we are a small outreach NPO improving the lives of rural animals.
The Transkei Animal Welfare Initiative (TAWI) was set up in 2008 by Richard Norton who recognised a problem and set about working towards a solution. Since then, TAWI have been operating a Primary Animal Health Care (PAHC) service, primarily for domestic dogs, to 16 rural communities surrounding the TAWI Bush Camp.
During this time, a strategy particularly suited to indigent rural villages has evolved and proven both acceptable and successful.
In 2009 Isaac, a young local man, joined the team and worked very hard to become a qualified Animal Welfare Assistant (AWA). Isaac does everything! He translates, visits the villages, administers medication, worming tablets, immunisations, bathing and dipping, distributes supplies, fund raises and guides volunteers, not to mention fixes everything and helps improve the Bush Camp, making steps, hammocks and building things. Having lived in the area all his life, Isaac knows the communities in the local villages very well and has helped TAWI to foster strong relationships built on trust. Over the last couple of years, we have also been lucky enough to bring a couple of vets on board who donate their time and energies to travel to the region and help us sterilise dogs at a fraction of the normal cost.
The basic medication, education and support we have provided in these 16 villages has resulted in real improvements in the communities' ability to manage the size of their dog populations and ensure that the dogs they have are healthy and well nourished. Fewer and healthier dogs has improved the health of families in the villages too.
It has become increasingly evident that there is a considerable need and desire for PAHC services in other communities as we are being continuously approached to extend our outreach and operate in villages farther afield. TAWI therefore wish to both expand and remain a self-sustaining NPO in order to garner, supplement and compliment government and municipal health related services in working towards filling this gap by combating diseases most common in rural pastoral areas of the Eastern Cape, most especially in the O.R. Tambo region.' About TAWI - Transkei Animal Welfare.
Local Howick based vet. Dr Lee Pachonik of Midmar Vet Clinic (pictured below at a TAWI mobile clinic), considers it a privilege to be able to assist with these outreach clinics.