Sthabiso heads up our puppy group. He is employed on Mearns Farm as a herdman. Sthabiso has a horse called Merlyn who helps him get his job of moving cattle around the farm done.
Sthabiso says that he enjoys volunteering at the project because it has made him part of a team who are sparking change in Bruntville. He says that the project has taught many people how to correctly care for their chickens, dogs, cattle and cats. Sthabiso believes that the project has shown many children how to connect with their dog and build a relationship, this has given them something to keep them busy and out of trouble when they are not at school.
Njabulo is one of our intermediate trainers. He came to Mooi River in search of a farm to complete his practical on. Mearns Farm took Njabulo on and he soon became involved in the project. Njabulo has since gained his National Diploma in Animal Production.
Njabulo believes that what we teach the children has a ripple effect through to community, and that the project goes beyond dog training and even teaches life skills. He says, “I want to be a part of this change”. Although we focus on the development of the child, Njabulo has also said that being part of the project has taught him how to be a better leader. It has taught him how to work better in a team and how to cope people who may not agree with what you say.
Jeanette is a Swedish born qualified counsellor who is in charge of our “arts and crafts” department as well as sourcing our dog food.
Jeanette says that she likes volunteering for the project because it helps our local community on so many different levels. Jeanette has noticed that the project helps to develop the child’s emotional wellbeing and teaches them to care for and love something that is able to give unconditional love in return. She also says that the hard work that the child invests into caring and training the puppy shows the child that hard work pays off and the reward that comes from achieving goals is priceless.
Xolani is one of our newer volunteers. Also an employee of Mearns Farm, Xolani’s job involves cattle on a daily basis. Here at the project, he trains one of our intermediate groups.
Xolani says that he has noticed that the project gives the children an opportunity to get them off the streets and concentrate on better things rather than drugs and alcohol. He also believes that our weekly classes expose the talents of the children, some of which may have gone unnoticed. Xolani enjoys being part of a team who are making a difference in his home township.
Lesley is in charge of our finances and sending out the thank you cards. She works at Midlands Veterinary Wholesalers and has a variety of pets at home.
Lesley says that she likes to volunteer for the project because both animals and children are extremely close to her heart and to be able to help them learn together is a cause that appeals to her. She believes that with the support of the community, the project offers an opportunity for compassion and responsibility to be learnt.
Stacey is a veterinary nurse and is in the process of heading over to New Zealand to work. She runs our veterinary program and keeps an eye on the health of the dogs in Bruntville.
Stacey says that she believes a better life for animals in our community starts with education. She hopes to improve the life of animals in Bruntville by teaching not only the children, but also adults about the importance of animals in our world. Stacey hopes that many of the children who attend our classes may be inspired to pursue careers involving animals.