Thanks to participative and practical training where traditional knowledge is complemented with new insights, the African livestock keepers can better organize their future. They learn how to recognize and treat diseases; they learn how to read, write, and count; they learn how to negotiate, to keep accounting records; they learn the best way to nourish their animals; they learn how to increase their animal production...
In Belgium we bring to the attention of consumers, politicians, professionals and students of the agricultural sector the importance of small-scale livestock keeping for sustainable development, in the North as well as in the South.
Building latrines can be a good solution. A latrine is probably even one of the best solutions. But why is the construction of latrines one of those development projects that so often seem to fail? The examples are plenty: toilet constructions that are so nice that they are now being used as the office of a local politician; latrines that are locked, except when the NGO visits them because “it is Josephine’s toilet!”; the community who has built a nice latrine, or so it seems, until you open the door and you see there is not even a hole -they only wanted to please the donor… So, it is not about latrines. It is all about poo-poo.
Your contribution to a healthy and productive livestock in Africa bears fruit. In 2012, your support allowed thousands of children and their families in Africa to fight against malnutrition and to face drought, conflicts, and weakening of their animals.
Since the beginning of March 2012, the armed conflict in Mali has forced tens of thousands of families to flee from the north of the country. Although Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium is not active in the conflict zone itself, the organisation provides assistance to those who have fled to the south; at the end of last year, the NGO distributed goats to 1,000 families in the Ségou region. Vets will be monitoring their wellbeing throughout the year.
The first phase of the Proxivet project lasted three years and has now come to an end. The second phase began in January 2011 and is similarly expected to take three years. Sarah Van Steenwinkel, junior assistant for Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium and based in Butare since September 2010, describes the program, which is bringing together veterinarians and livestock keepers.
On 24 January 2011, the international community officially launched the world veterinary year. Veterinary education was founded in France 250 years ago. Not only do veterinarians guarantee animal health, they also play a crucial role for human health. In fact, looking at cattle breeding today, millions of families in the developing world still depend on livestock for their survival.