Of KSPCA and friends

About a week ago, my girlfriends and I made a little trip to KSPCA to help out and play with the animals. The people are friendly and very good with animals, and the place runs like…a well oiled machine. They have a schedule to make sure the animals are clean, well fed and decently exercised.

There are so many dogs and cats, plus a few horses and donkeys. Most of the animals were rescued or given up because owners were moving or just couldn’t manage then anymore. Some come in a terrible state and are nursed back to health others are really young like this one kitten that came in that day that had to be fed with a dropper and could nap in your hand.

You can’t help but realize how undervalued animals are here, how ill-treated some of them are like the pups sold by the roadside. Having a pet is a commitment (you can check out KSPCAs tips on pet care) so you need to be sure before getting one. Even gold-fish need some level of attention. If you’re not willing to give your time, or are overly concerned about expenses, leave it be.

If however you are interested, visit KSPCA, they hove so many friendly animals that are vaccinated and deformed. Some, depending on age, are neutered/spayed. They are well-behaved and respond well to people. There was one three-legged dog that especially friendly and behaved as though nothing was missing, totally happy-go-lucky.

My favorite from the day were The Pirate (henceforth dubbed so), and the three pups that played themselves to sleep. I also petted a donkey for the first time, which would have thrilled a certain American girl 😛 .

We got to help feed the larger dogs, except two that were being taken to their new home, and help clean up after. Honestly it’s very hard to stay upset once you set foot in that place. Animals have this strange peace about them, this wonderfully simple way to view the world that’s oddly calming.

It was a great day out and I’d recommend it to anyone. Here are other ways you can get involved:

Adopt a pet

Become a Member

Make a Donation

…follow the links for more information.















Israel-Palestine: What can we do?

I received this today:

 

“Dear friends,

As a new round of violence kicks off in Israel-Palestine and more children are killed, it’s time to take definitive non-violent action to end this nightmare.Our governments and companies have continued to aid, trade and invest in the violence, but we can help stop it if we call on key banks, pension funds and businesses to pull out their investments — add your voice now:

SIGN THE PETITION

As a new round of violence kicks off in Israel-Palestine and more children are killed, it’s not enough just to call for another ceasefire. It’s time to take definitive non-violent action to end this decades long nightmare. 

Our governments have failed — while they have talked peace and passed UN resolutions, they and our companies have continued to aid, trade and invest in the violence. The only way to stop this hellish cycle of Israel confiscating Palestinian lands, daily collective punishment of innocent Palestinian families, Hamas firing rockets, and Israel bombing Gaza is to make the economic cost of this conflict too high to bear. 

We know it works — when EU countries issued guidelines not to fund the illegal Israeli settlements it caused an earthquake in the cabinet, and when citizens successfully persuaded a Dutch pension fund, PGGM, to withdraw, it created a political storm. 

This may not feel like a direct way to stop the current killing, but history tells us that raising the financial cost of oppression can pave a path to peace. Click to call on 6 key banks, pension funds and businesses to pull out — If we all take smart action now and turn up the heat, they could withdraw, the Israeli economy will take a hit, and we can turn the calculation of the extremists politically profiting from this hell upside down: 

Israel – Palestine, This is how it ends.

In the last six weeks three Israeli teenagers were murdered in the West Bank, a Palestinian boy was burnt alive, an American kid was brutally beaten up by Israeli police, and now almost 100 Gazan kids have died in Israeli air strikes. This is not the “Middle East conflict”, it’s becoming a war on children. And we are becoming numb to this global shame. 

The media makes out like this is an intractable conflict between two equal warring parties, but it is not. Palestinian extremists’ attacks on innocent civilians are never justified and Hamas’ anti-semitism is disgusting. But these extremists claim legitimacy by fighting the grotesque, decades-long oppression by the Israeli state. Israel currently occupies, colonises, bombs, raids, and controls the water, trade and the borders of a legally free nation that has been recognised by the United Nations. In Gaza, Israel has created the largest open-air prison in the world, and then blockaded it. Now as bombs fall, the families literally have no way to get out. 

These are war crimes and we wouldn’t accept that anywhere else: why accept it in Palestine? Half a century ago Israel and its Arab neighbours went to war and Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Occupying territory after war happens all the time. But no military occupation should turn into a decades-long tyranny which only fuels and benefits extremists who use terror to target the innocent. And who suffers? The majority of loving families on both sides that just want freedom and peace. 

To many, particularly in Europe and North America, calling for companies to withdraw investments from financing or taking part in Israel’s occupation of Palestine sounds completely biased. But this campaign is not anti-Israel — this is the most potent non-violent strategy to end the ritual violence, ensure Israelis’ security and achieve Palestinian freedom. Although Hamas deserves much pressure too, it is already under crippling sanctions and facing every kind of pressure. Israel’s power and wealth dwarfs Palestine, and if it refuses to end its illegal occupation, the world must act to make the cost unbearable. 

Dutch pension fund ABP invests in Israeli banks that help fund the colonisation of Palestine. Massive banks like Barclays invest in suppliers of Israeli arms and other occupation businesses. Computer giant Hewlett-Packard supplies sophisticated surveillance to control the movement of Palestinians. And Caterpillar provides bulldozers that are used to demolish Palestinian homes and farms. If we can create the biggest global call ever to get these companies to pull out, we will show clearly that the world will no longer be complicit in this bloodshed. The Palestinian people are calling on the world to support this path and progressive Israelis support it too. Let’s join them: 

Israel-Palestine, This is how it ends
Our community has worked to bring peace, hope, and change to some of the world’s toughest conflicts, and often that means taking difficult positions to address the root cause. For years our community has looked for a political solution to this nightmare, but with this new round of horror unfolding in Gaza, the time has come to turn to sanctions and disinvestment to finally help end the horror for Israelis and Palestinians. 

With hope and determination, 

Alice, Fadi, Ben, Laila, Anna, Ricken, Jo, Nell, Mais and the entire Avaaz Team.

 

Is this something you agree with? Would you sign the petition? What else can be done? Please feel free to share.

 

MORE INFORMATION:

UN independent expert calls for boycott of businesses profiting from Israeli settlements (UN)
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43376#.U7_ynqhMrRI

12 more EU countries warn against trade with Israeli settlements (Haaretz)
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.603030

Israelis, Palestinians Pro Peace Process, but Not Hopeful (Gallup)
http://www.gallup.com/poll/161456/israelis-palestinians-pro-peace-process-not-hopeful.aspx

Under pressure, a strong EU-Israel relationship faces uncertain future (Middle East Monitor)
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/debate/9675-under-pressure-a-strong-eu-israel-relationship-faces-uncertain-future

Israel-Gaza conflict: 80 per cent of Palestinians killed by Israeli strikes are civilians, UN report says (The Independent)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelgaza-conflict-80-per-cent-of-palestinians-killed-by-israeli-strikes-are-civilians-un-report-says-9606397.html

Rule 156. Definition of War Crimes (ICRC)
http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_cha_chapter44_rule156

Palestinians: Most Gaza dead are children, women, elderly (Haaretz)
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.604443

Caught on Tape: US Teen Allegedly Beaten by Israeli Police (ABC News)
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/caught-tape-us-teen-tariq-abu-khdeir-allegedly-24449873

A policy of displacement (Visualizing Palestine)
http://visualizingpalestine.org/infograhic/a-policy-of-displacement

Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry
http://www.whoprofits.org/

Additional sources for this campaign:
http://avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_sources_a/?blast 

 

Angel Centre for Abandoned Children

kids

A few friends and I visit Angel Centre for Abandoned Children. I had had the pleasure of going there with a different group of people earlier in the year and decided to go back with my girls.

Angel Centre for Abandoned Children is a non-government organization for abandoned children. Their main aim is to take care of abandoned and orphaned children by giving them a home and a family environment. They also try to find capable adoption families that can take the children as their own. For those children that do not find homes, they are supported until they finish their education. There are 18 children in total; two girls and 16 boys, only 6 are currently of school going age.

We decided to donate non-perishables, cleaning items, clothes and toys that Wamaitha, who runs the home, mentioned needing. Once there we got to interact with the little ones and Wamaitha talked about each child’s story, most of which tear at the heart. I was reunited with Peter who was a lot more talkative and mischievous than the first time I spent time with him.

The visit was also a chance to learn about the adoption process in Kenya, which for locals is relatively easy, and challenges that come with running a home. It soon turned into a brainstorming session on how to better educate our youth on how to approach sex and its consequences. The Angel Centre holds talks at girls’ schools to educate them on how to prevent pregnancy and their options if they do get pregnant, but what we realized while talking is how marginalized boys are. The 1:8 ratio of girls to boys in the home is an indicator, and the reasons are based on culture.

We had to leave at nap time, as one by one the children dropped off, seemingly content and totally tuckered out

Nothing can compare to the amazing feeling you get when you do something good for someone else. Knowing for a moment we each made a small difference in a little life has a fulfilling effect. It makes you wonder who’s helping who in the end.

If you’d like to get in touch with them about how you can give a helping hand, call 0712 218121. I encourage you to.

Save Our Elephants!

Can you imagine the Elephant becoming extinct? A skeleton in Nairobi Museum being the last thing to remind us that they actually existed once? Never admiring how majestic those creatures are? I can, and it scares me.

skeleton

I’ve always loved seeing elephants. They are the most exuberantly expressive of creatures…love, rage, sorrow..Their sheer size. I remember my first time at the Mara, seeing a herd of elephants got me all excited, and I remember my class assignment was about them.

We’re in crisis mode people, our elephants are being massacred while we sit back and wait for the Government to do something. Where’s the outrage? The angry protesters?

Actually, a protest or 24hr vigil is what we need. (notes it down)

Do you know how much an elephant is worth? Ksh15,000. Can you believe it?? What a farce! In comparison to what the poacher can actually make selling off the ivory, this is monopoly money.

Crime syndicates are involved and demand (primarily from China) has now reached such a high level that the price payable to the poacher for raw ivory is reported to be as high as KShs 20,000 per kilogram – or KShs 400,000 for a 20kg tusk. The KWS and other law enforcement agencies are trying their best to contain the situation but are being overwhelmed.

They are frustrated by the ridiculously light sentences being handed down by the courts – in the same court on the same day poachers caught in the act of killing an elephant in west Laikipia were fined Kshs 15,000, whilst a cattle thief was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for stealing one sheep!

Richard Vigne, CEO of Ol Pejeta Conservancy

dead-elephant

Hope you’re getting the general idea of just how bad things are.

So what options are open to you? One place you can start is by following this link, and signing the petition to stop the Elephant Slaughter in Kenya: http://ow.ly/o5SL2

Keep tabs on sights like www.eawildlife.org to know what’s going on and how you can help.

Just creating a buzz via your twitter account will go a long way. #SaveOurElephants

If you have any great ideas on how we can Save Our Elephants, or know of Organizations, Groups or Causes we can support, mention it in the comments. It could even be something you’ve come up with.