Written by: Mdzananda Animal Clinic 
Article source: www.mdzananda.co.za

Two- and four-leggeds will be strutting their stuff along the Strandfontein Pavilion this Youth Day, the 16th of June 2022. A Youth Dog Walk, hosted by Mdzananda Animal Clinic and Remnant Youth, will bring the love of dogs to children from difficult backgrounds.

“The event aims at brining the youth of Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain together through the fun activity of walking dogs,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Executive. “Most of these children come from difficult backgrounds, many never having experienced love. The unconditional love of a four-legged friend is priceless.”

The event addresses both animal and youth issues.
In both communities, animals are often bred for protection with children being taught to fear dogs. Here children will experience the kind, compassionate qualities of dogs – something many community children never experience in their home environments. At the same time they will learn about animal ownership and responsibility. The event provides a safe space for children from challenged backgrounds to spend a day, feeling like they have purpose in the world by doing good.

Sr Heidi May, the General Manager at Mdzananda Animal Clinic, says that growing up with pets is linked to higher self-esteem, cognitive development, and social skills and this event is the first step towards that. “At Mdzananda we’ve experienced that many children are the carers for the animals in the home. They befriend the animals, often being the only form of companionship and support in homes where there is violence. The animals give them a purpose.”

Remnant Youth, the co-organisers, creates events for youth to have a community where they feel safe while doing good in the world. They have helped at Mdzananda adoption days, have spent a week at the organisation bathing animals, have cooked meals for the elderly and more.

Youngsters from outside of Khayelitsha and Mitchells plain are also invited. Children can bring their dogs along and enjoy a walk with an ocean view.

The entry is FREE of charge (donations are welcome if walkers wish to donate, but not essential). Email info@mdzananda.co.za for registration forms or arrive early on the day. The walk starts at 8 am at the Strandfontein Pavilion. Registration starts at 7:30 am.

We ask the public to sponsor a child from one of these disadvantaged communities to walk for R50. This will help cover our event costs. We would love for as many children as possible to enjoy this event.

About Mdzananda Animal Clinic (www.mdzananda.co.za)
The Mdzananda Animal Clinic is a permanent, veterinary council registered, NPO animal clinic in Khayelitsha, a township just outside of Cape Town, South Africa, home to 400 000 people (2011 census) and their pets. The clinic serves over 1000 animals per month through consultations, hospitalisation, general and orthopaedic surgeries, continuous sterilisations, mobile clinics and an animal ambulance. Mdzananda has a strong focus on community empowerment and education to ensure responsible pet ownership into the future.

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Date published: 13/06/2022
Feature image: Nic Bothma, EPA – Remnant Youth helping at Mdzananda adoption event.

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