Co Founder Belinda Carlisle kisses a donkey, one of India's many neglected street animals

Co-founder Belinda Carlisle, with one of her friends

Animal People Alliance is the newest project of Made By Survivors, a charity established in 2005 to fight slavery and empower women and girls.In South Asia, where we work, there are millions of neglected animals on the street. In many cities, like Calcutta, there are very few animal services and those that do exist are unable to provide enough basic help for all the suffering and homeless animals. Local communities are overwhelmed by the problem, and in many cases, street animals are stigmatized and badly abused as a result. In poor neighborhoods, there is often a disinterest about the suffering of animals, or a sense of powerlessness that people can do anything to help them.

People too are suffering in this region, especially women and children. Many are victims of horrific human rights abuses, like human trafficking, child marriage, domestic violence, and severe discrimination. Poverty and the lack of job options, especially for women, is a root cause of human rights abuses. In order to be safe and independent, vulnerable people need high quality jobs that can raise their social status.

We are honored to be partnering with singer/songwriter Belinda Carlisle on this initiative. Belinda has a long and passionate association with animal rights and welfare and has decided to dedicate the rest of her life to helping the animals of India and other parts of the world and create a culture of compassion that future generations can learn from.

The mission of this project – Animal People Alliance – is to provide high quality care to animals in need while also providing high quality employment to survivors of human rights abuses and other vulnerable populations. We plan to create a national network to train and employ survivors in veterinary nursing and dog handling, offering ongoing training, oversight and resources.

We partner with existing animal shelters and shelters for vulnerable women, and help to improve their resources and have a bigger impact. The women trained through this program will not only work directly with animals in need.  They will also lead workshops in schools and communities, changing the consciousness for future generations, and raising awareness about the value of human relationships with animals and the need to treat animals humanely.