Visiting East Africa with the Brooke charity
Working with the Brooke charity as Youth Ambassador overseas
As youth ambassador for Brook Action for Working horses and donkeys last week I headed on a journey to East Africa, now sat back in my office at home with a cuppa t watching Alfie in the field the whole experience seems a bit surreal. And it’s funny to think this time last week I was visiting Embu to see the donkey shelters.
Being out in East Africa it certainly made me appreciate my life back at home with my animals even more so than I did already.
On the flight over I was really excited about the journey and adventure ahead, I’ve worked with the charity for quite some time now and heard about the amazing work they do so I couldn’t wait to get to the front of it all and see their work in action.
The time I spend travelling to each different community and parts of Africa seemed to fly by and I was very overwhelmed by how much impact the Brooke make on communities, schools and families.
On my first day I headed to meet the pupils who are part of the donkey care clubs, through poetry, dance and drawing the Brooke charity are teaching the children how to look after their animals. I really enjoyed hearing the songs about the donkeys, it’s such a great way to educate the children, from there the children go home to tell the parent’s about the right way to care for their donkeys which is a great working programme.
On the second day I headed to Embu in Kenya, to visit the community who’re constructing donkey shelters to help protect their animals. Unfortunately Kenya is the epicentre of the donkey crisis in Africa and thousands of donkeys are killed each day for their skins. Seeing the shelters in place there is hope for the donkeys and families. It was great to talk to the people who are benefitting from the shelters and finding out how much it meant to them.
Then I visited the women’s group near Mwingi town to see how the role of their working donkeys is supporting their lives from the perspectives of the women themselves, that was incredibly inspiring to hear their stories, it was something I could relate to on the women empowerment side of things and I’ll certainly be going forward to spread the word.
There’s something about Africa which makes you miss being out in the heat and the peaceful sounds of the animals in the distance. The livelihood of the families was difficult but yet simple, things we worry about here in England isn’t even a though out in Africa.
Going forward I’ll be working on a few books to be released in 2020 and lots more projects with the charity...!
It’s so nice to be back with Alfie – although he was a bit sulky with me for being away when I arrived home.