Bridging Lanka, bringing light to dark times.

Partner group, Bridging Lanka, based in Sri Lanka, have recently sent through a report from January, which they held off sending due to the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks and out of respect for those lives lost.

After careful reflection and thought, they have decided to not let terror manipulate their lives, and to recognise the work and dedication of those who make a difference, even amidst the chaos. So we hope this update, while late, will illustrate the hope and positivity that this group strive for.

As followers of AAA know, a group of supporters were lucky enough to visit the the Bridging Lanka donkey sanctuary where the group of 11 fell head over heels in love with their furry residents. The group also brought with them medicines and other clinical supplies, they gained an overview of the operation, and visited the donkey assisted therapy centre. They also enjoyed a parting BBQ with local villagers who sang, danced and told stories about the local area.

Aside from the excitement of the group visit, there were 63 sick or injured donkeys treated by the team, one particular case was of a donkey who had a severe cut on his back left hoof. This kind of injury is all too common, due to tightly tied rope around the leg and the donkey was agitated and in obvious pain. A truck was hired to bring the donkey in to the clinic, and painkillers were administered before the wound was thoroughly cleaned, medicated and bandaged. With regular checks and redressings, a marked improvement was observed.

An abandoned and half-starved foal was taken in to the sanctuary, and sadly another foal which had been attacked by dogs did not survive.

The donkey assisted therapy program continued with many future plans to take it to the next level.

The centre also received a fantastic 143 local and foreign visitors, a number from overseas, so it is fantastic that awareness is being raised and tourists are incorporating support for these types of organisations into their holidays.

In terms of the local community, the group have received aggression for doing what they do in an area that is recovering from three decades of debilitating war, and with majority of the population struggling to survive, the perceived prioritisation of the welfare of a 'mere animal' over that of a human doesn't sit well with many. The Education Centre, an integral part of the DCEC, was conceived to help develop the social, economic and educational fabric of the surrounding villages. By offering education, opportunities for cultural expression and many economic benefits as a result of donkeys, people will come to appreciate their value, so, ensuring their welfare.

This group really do strive in many ways to make the world a better place, for humans and animals alike.

AAA are proud to support the work they do.

Janet Thomas