International equine charity, World Horse Welfare, has launched a match-funded appeal for a project providing training for communities in rural Haiti to improve care for their working horses and donkeys whilst strengthening their livelihoods and independence.
The ambitious UK Aid Match appeal aims to raise in excess £150,000 which will be doubled by the UK government, with World Horse Welfare the first equine-focused charity to run a match-funding appeal of this kind.
Working in ten towns around Port-Au-Prince, the charity’s Haitian partner, Fondation Quatre Pattes, will share knowledge with horse owning communities and provide training in saddlery, horse care and veterinary treatment. Not only will the project support owners in improving the health of their working horses but it will also open up income generation opportunities for local people to train as veterinary agents, saddle pad makers and saddlers.
Working horses, donkeys and mules are an essential mode of transport for rural communities in Haiti – carrying produce to be sold at markets, ferrying water for livestock and transporting children to school. Learning how to keep their horses strong and able to work is important to the people who depend on them and World Horse Welfare’s project will help communities learn new skills that can be passed down from generation to generation.
International Development Minister Baroness Sugg said:
“Working horses are a vital lifeline for poor farmers and those working hard to lift themselves out of poverty across Haiti. Horses are used every day to carry produce to be sold at markets, transport much needed water supplies and take their children to school.
“Losing a horse can be disastrous for these families. World Horse Welfare’s UK Aid Match appeal to help communities look after their horses will help to secure the income of entire communities.
“UK aid will double every pound the UK public donates to this appeal, meaning their generosity will go twice as far.”
World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, said:
“‘If my donkey is sick then it is as though I’m sick too’ are the words of a working equid owner in Haiti that so eloquently reflect the true importance of working horses, donkeys and mules to the families they support, and how working animals can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world that is still trying to recover from the devastating earthquake in 2010. Despite this there is great appetite within communities in rural Haiti to access new skills and knowledge – and empowering local people through training in horse care, saddlery and veterinary treatment not only improves the welfare of their working animals but boosts their independence too.
“We have a unique opportunity to double our impact thanks to the UK government matching every donation we receive until 17th September and would ask everyone to help us make the most of this extraordinary opportunity by helping some of the world’s most challenged people by supporting them in caring for their working animals.”