Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding: Brooke USA’s Women4Donkeys

Every Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. Today, we recognize Brooke USA’s Women4Donkeys campaign.

Photo courtesy of Brooke USA

Brooke USA’s Women4Donkeys campaign started originally as a matching campaign thanks to Brooke USA Ambassador Margaret H. Duprey. Starting in February of 2018, Duprey pledged to personally match contributions up to $50,000 for Women4Donkeys, a program to benefit women in poverty relying on donkeys to survive and provide for their families in Kitui County, Kenya. The $50,000 goal was met on July 9.

The campaign has continued and now grown, projected to reach six communities including 82,000 women and 123,000 donkeys. The donkeys are a critical part of the economy in Kenya, serving as transportation and draft animals in agriculture; their contributions to the workforce help families find employment and earn income. Due to a lack of knowledge, however, many donkeys are poorly treated or neglected. Brooke USA, the American branch of The Brooke, works to educate owners of working animals in developing nations to improve equine welfare as well as provide direct aid for animals in need.

When women in Kenya own donkeys, their opportunities increase: they can perform more household tasks, such as collecting water and firewood often over long distances, as well as using their donkeys to create income. In rural areas, an estimated 80% of donkey caregivers are women; however, men typically have control over family assets.

Women4Donkeys will specifically target equine welfare education and skill-building opportunities both for animal husbandry and to develop self-reliance for women. The program will also provide training opportunities for farriers, health providers and harness makers. Further programs will include record keeping, saving money and financial management to empower women.

“I was first drawn to Brooke USA because of their sustainable programs that implement education, as well as scientifically proven, practical and culturally relevant solutions to equine welfare challenges,” Duprey explained. “Women4Donkeys will benefit a variety of demographics, especially women in poverty who rely on the livelihood of their donkey to survive and provide for their families. I am pleased by the number of people who stepped forward to support my match. To raise funds for a program I believe will do such good is inspiring and truly reflects the power of the good work Brooke USA is doing for working equines and their owners.”

To learn more about Women4Donkeys, please visit the program’s webpage.

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.

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