Vet Books For Africa

 

 

Vet Books for Africa is a truly unique, student run initiative that was established in 1993. It is aimed at distributing textbooks, journals and equipment of veterinary interest to veterinary faculties across Africa, where these commodities are most needed. Our vision is to strengthen the relationship between African veterinary faculties in order to uplift veterinary education by promoting a uniform approach towards animal health care and ultimately, to promote the conservation of our beautiful continent.

The project team consisted of 8 veterinary students from Onderstepoort, the only faculty of Veterinary Science in South Africa. The most recent biennial trip took place from the 10th of November to 22nd of December 2016. During this 13 000 kilometer journey, the team visited six Veterinary Faculties as well as four charities and one school. The team traversed six African countries, namely Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. We also collected an equal amount of books and funds for the faculties in Mozambique and Namibia, but due to time constraints, we did not include these countries in our trip. Their packages will be delivered in the nearby future when a transport opportunity presents itself.   

Making this trip a reality was not an easy task. It took two years of intense fund raising, planning and dedication to make it happen. In total, we managed to raise close to half a million rand worth of books and equipment, including stethoscopes, dissection kits, suture pads, diagnostic imaging CD’s, and rabies awareness pamphlets. We divided these into equal amounts and sorted them according to the specific needs of each university and charity. These were all welcomed with warm hearts filled with appreciation and admiration.

This was the first year that the Vet Books for Africa mission took the initiative to expand towards charities as well. These charities included the Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust in Zambia, The Wildlife Action Group in Malawi, the Painted Dog Conservation in Zimbabwe and the Mamelodi Animal Clinic in South Africa. The packages delivered to these charities were each custom-made, and included things such as mosquito repellent, first-aid kits, dog food, equipment and informative textbooks.

We would like to sincerely thank our main sponsor, Ascendis Health Phyto vet division, for their prodigious support in funding our cause. Through their substantial contribution of R170 000, we were able to extend well passed our boundaries, by visiting the well-anticipated faculty in Uganda, by almost doubling the total amount of books we could take over, and by providing us with marketing and networking support both before and during our journey!                       

We aim to expand even more in the future trips to come, and we encourage everyone to contribute and take part in this great initiative, as it has so much potential to reach even greater heights! Through our actions, we hope to promote education and conservation to ultimately unite veterinary students of Africa in order to achieve the greatest goal one could desire: to preserve this world for generations to come!

Visit our Facebook page to see our latest adventures!  

- Author Pieter de Villiers
Published by Sarah-Olivia Nunn

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