A Volunteer Vet's Experience in Sri Lanka
My time with Briding Lanka in Mannar, Sri Lanka
After I got the chance to join some vets from Animal Aid Abroad in the Gili Islands, Indonesia in 2016 I got keen on helping in other projects too and I contacted Janet from Animal Aid Abroad who was really helpful and she sent me some links to vet programs they work with.
After reading through them I got in further contact with Jeremy from Briding Lanka and he invited me to meet their Donkey project in Mannar in the North of Sri Lanka what I did at the end of November 2017.
The team of Briding Lanka was very welcoming and it was a great pleasure to meet them. I am really impressed about the projects they are running and specially the Donkey project touched me. Trying to help and improve the lifes of those semi wild donkeys living on the half Island of Mannar is a challenging long term project and totally necessary as they really face a difficult situation there.
My Austrian clients where really kind and donated some money and basic things for helping the donkey project so I was able to bring some medication and surgical items with me.
Part of the program is to tame some donkeys and reintroduce them to the local community so they get to know these lovely animals, don´t fear them and most importantly don´t fight or harm them.
Briding Lanka also run a lovely project with donkey and children, especially kids with special needs. It was very impressing to see the 4 tamed donkeys who do an amazing job and the lovely building they meet the kids in.
It was also a real pleasure to get the chance to work together with Dr. Ramesh, a donkey specialist from India, and also with the local vet Dr. Sashimal who was very interested in donkey treatments.
In my time in Mannar I was able to perform some castrations together with the workers and volunteers of Briding Lanka, who where really interested and helpful. We caught 4 donkeys (quite an adventure!), some had nasty wounds we managed others where ideal for the taming project and got castrated.
The challenging part was trying to set up some basics for the clinic, including finding appropriate items which sometimes was quite difficult as not everything is easy available in Mannar. Coming from the Western world, where basically everything is easy obtainable it was sometimes hard to understand but it taught me a lesson in how good our services are back home and that we should be really grateful for it.
I had an amazing time in Mannar and I am grateful that I got the chance to be part of the lovely team and although it only was a short period of time I hope I was able to help and I am looking forward to support some projects in the future.
Dr Lisa Stelzmayer