Our New Project in Egypt – 20th July 2023

As you may know we have worked for over 25 years in Israel and the West Bank, and our veterinary services have helped to improve the lives of many thousands of donkeys in need.

Andy, our CEO, recently visited Egypt to see the donkeys working in the brick kilns out there – and we’ll bring you more news of his trip soon. It highlighted why it was the right time for Safe Haven to commit to extending its vital care for donkeys into a new country.

Why is Safe Haven extending its work into Egypt?
There are approximately 1,000 brick kilns in Egypt, manufacturing building materials to satisfy the country’s housing boom. Around 600 of the kilns are based in the El Saf region, 100 km south of Cairo. The kilns rely on donkeys as haulage. Every day, the animals toil in intense desert heat, dragging carts loaded with unfired bricks to the kilns. The animals are worked very hard. The whole operation must move at a pace because the uncooked bricks dry out and crack in the heat, so need to be fired as quickly as possible.The donkeys at the El Saf brick kilns are suffering. Harness and saddle injuries, wounds from beatings, overgrown and deformed hooves, and parasitic diseases spread by flies have left many in unimaginable pain.

Our new project will help these donkeys – and train their owners how to care for their animals properly.

Training owners will be a vital component of our new project in this harsh landscape of the El Saf brick kilns, where 3,000 donkeys work.

There is currently no other organisation operating in this group of kilns to help the donkeys. 

Working with a trusted local organisation, El Gesr (The Bridge) Foundation, we’ve recently run a pilot project to send a mobile veterinary clinic into El Saf, concentrating on an area of around 120 to 180 kilns.

It consists of Dr Shaaban, a highly experienced vet, Moharram, a farrier and harness specialist who was himself a brick kiln owner, and Hamed, also a farrier. 

Dr Shaaban is the vet that will head up our new mobile team in El Saf.

We plan to send the team into the kilns six days a week – if we can raise the vital funds we need.

They will work to treat wounds and infections, trim overgrown hooves that cause agonising lameness, and rasp sharp tooth burrs that can create excruciating mouth ulcers and leave already malnourished donkeys without an appetite.

Hamed flushes out a donkey’s mouth prior to tooth rasping – stopping awful pain caused by sharp tooth burrs.

Alongside vet treatment, the team will train kiln owners on how best to look after their animals – ensuring more nourishing food, adequate rest and the correct use of harnesses and saddles to avoid wounds.

In this way, we will bring long-term benefits because with the right care, donkeys need not suffer. 

Hamed applies ointment to a donkey’s eye to provide relief and vital care.

The team will initially focus on around 120 kilns, but given that other owners have already approached them for support, that number is likely to grow fast. With 3,000 donkeys in the area requiring treatment, it’s vital the team has everything it needs. 

We know there is a long way to go with providing care to the working donkeys of El Saf, but we know that with your help, we will make a massive difference through our mobile veterinary clinic – just as we have in the West Bank.

Our new team will work tirelessly to help the working donkeys of El Saf – and train their sometimes very young owners to better care for their animals.

Thank You ♥️♥️
Once again we would like to say a big thank you to you, our supporters. It’s only with your help we are able to commit to working in El Saf, Egypt, helping so many donkeys in dire need of veterinary care. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To help kickstart our new Egypt project, please click here
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