Brooke USA Ambassador Margaret H. Duprey stepped forward in February 2018 with a matching campaign that would change the lives of hundreds of thousands of women and donkeys in Kitui County, Kenya. Together, Duprey and Brooke USA launched Women4Donkeys, with Duprey personally matching dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. On July 9, the $50,000 goal was successfully met.
“I was first drawn to Brooke USA because of their sustainable programs that implement education, as well as scientifically proven, practical, and culturally relevant solutions to equine welfare challenges,” Duprey explained. “Women4Donkeys will benefit a variety of demographics, especially women in poverty who rely on the livelihood of their donkey to survive and provide for their families. I am pleased by the number of people who stepped forward to support my match. To raise funds for a program I believe will do such good is inspiring and truly reflects the power of the good work Brooke USA is doing for working equines and their owners.”
The Women4Donkeys campaign is now projected to reach six communities, equating to 82,000 women and 123,000 donkeys. Estimated at 1.8 million, donkeys are important to the Kenyan economy, helping reduce poverty by providing employment and income to support peoples’ livelihoods. Donkeys are the most common means of transportation and are also used in agriculture. Although much of the population relies on donkeys, they are often poorly treated and/or neglected due to lack of knowledge. Brooke USA’s funded programs in Kenya will specifically address equine welfare education and skill-building opportunities that not only emphasize animal husbandry but develop self-reliance for women.
In addition to handling and husbandry practices for women donkey owners, the program will also provide training and capacity building of farriers, health providers and harness-makers. The women will benefit from household and income-generating activities such as harness-making, marketing skills and techniques, as well as record keeping training. In addition, outreach will include improving the knowledge and practices of women equine groups around saving money, securing credit and financial management.
To donate to Women4Donkeys, please visit www.brookeusa.org/women-4-donkeys.