It is so exciting to be a part of something that I have always wanted to do. For a long time I had a dream to create a donkey sanctuary and then in 2009 I visited Animal Aid Unlimited in Udaipur (AAU). Here, for the first time, I was completely blown away by the animal-healing work being done by the founders of this organization, Jim, Erika and Claire Abrams. This is the work of angels and I wanted to be doing that too. However, I didn’t know how that was really going to happen… until by chance in Bangkok, I met up with Paul Suit.
Paul works in Kolkata, India for Made By Survivors, an organization that creates employment opportunities to survivors of human rights abuses. Paul told me about a new project – Animal People Alliance – that he wanted to start up to continue to provide work to at-risk women, develop a more compassionate manner of dealing with street animals and eventually lead to establishing an animal hospital in Kolkata. Well, I stewed on that for about a month or two and thought to myself, this is a perfect way to combine my love for India and my love for animals…I want to help. I called Paul up and asked if I could help out and he said that would be great. So, that’s how my dream to help animals is finally beginning to manifest…and who knows, maybe there will be a donkey sanctuary along the way!
And now the work of Animal People Alliance has begun as we start the search for young women who want to take on the challenge of the training program at Animal Aid Unlimited and begin to contact organizations and veterinarians who will promise to employ the women who go through the training in the year 2016. We have a long way to go still, but we are hopeful that we are actually opening up new opportunities for both animals and women in Kolkata. There are a few of us who will be personally keeping you up to date through this blog so that you can follow what is going on: keeping you up to date with what Animal People Alliance is currently working on, sharing stories from people in Kolkata, and asking for your help by supporting/sharing our fundraising campaigns and events for next year.