It's International Donkey Week! Find out what's happening at the Donkey Sanctuary
On Tuesday 6th May, animal welfare charity the Donkey Sanctuary launched its International Donkey Week in Sidmouth, South Devon.
The aim of the week is to focus attention on the worldwide plight of donkeys and how charities such as the Donkey Sanctuary can help their suffering. The charity provides veterinary treatments & education projects around the world helping to improve the treatment and welfare of the gentle donkey. You can see an example of a UK donkey foal they've helped who was orphaned - read the story of Prince William here
Donkeys carry a heavy burden for people
Today, Wednesday 4th May, a double-decker bus showed the reality for too many donkeys overseas, as the charity compared an Indian donkey working in a brick kiln having to carry the same weight of 2 double-decker buses in bricks each week. So how do they work this out? The charity explains:
How the Donkey Sanctuary helps Donkeys
Donkey Sanctuary Communications Manager Dawn Vincent explains, "Donkeys support some of the poorest people and communities on the planet. They will work until they drop in terrible conditions to carry desperately needed water and transport huge loads to make their owners a living. The weight of two double-decker buses is a way of putting their burden into perspective.
"We work hard to support these donkeys as well as the families that could not live without them, through mobile teams providing vet treatments and educational projects all over the world. International Donkey Week is a time to consider the donkey's plight and how charities like ours can help alleviate their suffering."
The Donkey Sanctuary was founded by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE in 1969, and it's since given a sanctuary to more than 14,500 mules and donkeys in the UK, Ireland and Mainland Europe. It works in 29 countries around the world, with major projects in Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Kenya and Mexico.
How donkeys help people
Donkeys around the world have various careers, helping to take children to school as a sort of taxi service, take tourists for rides, help on building projects transporting bricks and other equipment, being water carriers, collecting refuse, and working on farms. In the UK and Spain, donkeys from the Donkey Sanctuary are helping children with special needs and disabilities with donkey therapy, while some are visiting the elderly in care homes, hospices and other settings.
So what happens in International Donkey Week?
Some 300 supporters have gone to Devon for the week to visit the Donkey Sanctuary. They''ll find out about the Sanctuary's latest projects, and they can also enjoy visits to each of the seven farms in Devon and Dorset from Wednesday, where some 2,200 rescued donkeys and mules are cared for. A perfect week for donkey lovers! Find out more about it here
How you can help the Donkey Sanctuary help donkeys
An Indian donkey working in a brick kiln carries the same weight of 2 double-decker buses in bricks each week.