How Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts Brooke’s work
Brooke is a global champion of animal health and welfare, and we will not stop until animals get the attention and respect they deserve.
Brooke has launched an emergency appeal to support communities and working horses, donkeys and mules impacted by India’s devastating COVID-19 crisis.
The country hit a record 414,188 new infections on 7 May and some states have imposed lockdown restrictions. As the pandemic rages on, loyal working animals are carrying essential supplies of food and water to keep their communities going and it’s vital they are kept healthy if their owners are to recover from the economic and health impacts of this crisis. India’s government has classified veterinary care as essential and Brooke staff have been given special passes allowing them to reach animals and communities that are isolated and in desperate need.
Funds from the appeal will ensure that Brooke can continue to help animals in need for several months. Even when the surge in infections subsides, these remote communities will need their animals to be healthy in order to rebuild life after COVID-19.
To help Brooke continue this work in this emergency, click here to donate.
You can find out more about the appeal, here.
An update (28/04/21)
Coronavirus continues to impact our work around the world with varying levels of severity. Our staff remain our first priority and we are working in accordance with government advice on a country-by-country basis to ensure their safety.
Our thoughts are with all of our staff and the communities we serve. Many of them are in the worst affected countries and we are doing all we can to support their wellbeing.
At this time, many will be aware of the devastating second wave which is currently affecting India. To date, a number of Brooke India staff working in both Delhi and the field have tested positive for coronavirus. Thankfully, all are recovering. All office staff are currently working from home but, where possible, our work with animals and communities is continuing within area restrictions.
In nearby Pakistan, office staff are working from home as a spike in Lahore continues to put significant pressure on the health system.
In Kenya and Ethiopia, Brooke staff are complying with local restrictions and curfews amid fears of a second wave.
Meanwhile, in Nicaragua, the Brooke Latin America and Caribbean (BLAC) team have set in place a number of safeguards to keep staff safe.
However, we are pleased to report that in Senegal, some sense of normality is being established and restrictions have been eased.
We are confident that hard working animals will continue to receive support from Brooke and our partners at this time. For years, Brooke has been training and improving the skills of local people within their communities. We know that local vets, farriers and other animal health workers can work independently to maintain good animal welfare without our staff having to travel out to be there in person.
The essential role of working horses, donkeys and mules
Horses, donkeys and mules are still out there working, and are more essential than ever to keep communities going amid the global pandemic.
Right now, whether it's carrying water or transporting people to hospital, these animals are keeping people alive.
They help people make a living and help people to obtain and transport food. They do the same with water, used both for washing and cooking.
Health systems in all of our countries of operation are not as robust as those in Europe. The communities we work with are already marginalised, and it is probable that they will have to face some of the hardest challenges to their livelihood and resilience, as work shuts down or they become infected. Their loyal working horses, donkeys and mules will feel the impact too.
We want to assure our supporters that all the horses, donkeys and mules, as well as the animal owners we work with, are still receiving support in this difficult time. Brooke programmes are using every resource available to them to continue to support the animals and communities they work with whilst safeguarding their staff.
Physical interaction with the community and service providers has been replaced with contact over phone and by radio. Brooke India is enhancing communication technology for field workers so that they can maintain contact with the communities they work with.
In regions and communities where we have established projects, staff are making sure useful information reaches people there. For instance, we are distributing prevention information at water points and animal health centres in Ethiopia, and in India we are connecting vulnerable people to government assistance.
What else is Brooke doing?
Despite the difficulties at hand, Brooke has been working tirelessly throughout this crisis to ensure working horses, donkeys and mules and the people who depend on them still receive the vital support they need. Throughout our country programmes we've teamed up with our partners to provide vulnerable families with food rations, fodder and hand sanitiser. We've also been meeting with vulnerable, hard-to-reach communities to circulate crucial government guidance on social distancing, masks and hand hygiene.
This help that we have received from Brooke India’s team is a big support for us. We don’t know what the situation will be later but for now, we have received enough to survive the next few days.
In addition, we are:
- Enhancing communication technologies to reach and support our communities
- Giving vital medical advice and assistance to owners over the phone
- Mentoring and supporting vets over the phone and online
- Reaching vulnerable and marginalised communities with government messages and health advice on staying safe during the pandemic
- Speeding up preparation of distance-learning modules for vets
- Developing emergency guidelines for national vet networks
- Supporting community groups to contribute to the fight against Coronavirus. For instance, in Pakistan and India last year, women’s groups used their sewing skills to make protective face masks
- Connecting our community groups to government assistance schemes
Brooke is committed to providing excellent supporter care to our loyal donors, by responding promptly to all queries and requests. However, it may take longer than usual for us to receive and process your donations or get back to you, so we ask that if you wish to make a donation to Brooke at this time, please do so on our donation page rather than by phone or post.
For urgent queries, visit our contact page.
We will keep this page updated, so do check back regularly to stay up to date.
We appreciate and greatly value the unwavering support you continue to show for working horses, donkeys and mules. Thank you.