Linda Ncube is an animal advocate in Zimbabwe. She received a grant for “My Fur Buddie,” a project seeking to educate primary school children to love and protect dogs in a community that has no regard for animals that do not produce milk or meat for human consumption. The children were to be taught through drama plays, theory lessons, and then make practical lesson of lessons learnt. Linda writes:
Our objective is to disseminate information that all animals are equal and of importance to human beings and hence have to be loved and cared for well. The community that I intend to carry this project is the one where dogs survive on left-over food and if there is no left-over food or is little they have to roam about in search of food. As a result of this, dogs get injured and poisoned by those who would be disturbed by them as they steal or drop their bins in search of food.
In 2021, Linda managed to reach 506 children and 193 parents with “My Fur Buddie,” which due to the closing of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, developed into a series of lessons at individual homesteads and dip tanks (a place to bring animals and disinfect them to cure disease). Unable to perform the drama plays, Linda turned them into poetry, which engaged audiences even more and further encouraged them to view dogs with respect. There was even an increase in dogs taken to the veterinarian as a result of Linda’s program. By teaching her community the Five Freedoms for Animals, Linda fostered a real change in her community as people began to view dogs as living beings that require food and shelter. She writes: “Upon our regular checks on the participants, there was notable change as the dogs now had places to sleep with linen and plates for food and water. We were happy to find that [people] had even done so for the cats, despite our lessons focusing on dogs.” Connect with her on Facebook here.