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Challenges We Face

Operating in a third-world country often faces several challenges. In Namibia, we do not have significant problems with social, cultural, religious, and political conditions nor a lack of interest from dog and cat owners. We have long waiting lists and numerous requests to expand our services, demonstrating the understanding and recognition of the importance of spaying and neutering.

But still, Have a Heart faces three significant challenges:

1) Funding. Despite being a respected institution welcomed in all the areas we serve, we do not receive any financial support from the government. While municipalities, town and village councils, as well as chiefs of traditional groups, and even government facilities have requested our presence and we have successfully worked in their communities, we have not yet received official financial backing. Fortunately, we do receive public donations and grants from businesses, trusts, and private donors within Namibia and overseas. Additionally, we are fortunate to receive a yearly grant from a Namibian-based trust, and Have a Heart Namibia is the designated charity of Swakop Charity Shop. Animal-Kind International thankfully supports Namibia's dogs and cats with an emergency fund twice a year.

We also actively organise a variety of fundraising events to support our cause. Despite our endeavors, it is important to note that the funds raised through these initiatives only contribute approximately 45% of our total annual budget requirements, meaning additional private donations and grants are essential for Have a Heart to remain operative!


2) Namibia's remoteness. One major problem in Namibia is the limited infrastructure, particularly in terms of road connectivity and the number of available veterinarians. This logistical hurdle makes it difficult to reach remote areas where our assistance is most needed. Veterinarians and volunteers often have to travel long distances, sometimes hundreds of kilometers, during a single trip to provide support.

To overcome this challenge, we have established close partnerships with other charities and NPOs, including SPCAs, private and registered rescue and housing organisations, located closer to the targeted areas. However, this collaborative system has its limitations, as other charities also rely on donations. Therefore, incorporating paid staff members into our team is an inevitable step in the future.

Another solution we are exploring is equipping more of our veterinarians with mobile clinic trailers. These mobile units will enable us to provide veterinary services more efficiently and effectively in remote areas.





















3) Animal welfare education. In addition to the financial and logistical challenges, we also face a gap in animal welfare education in Namibia that would be easy to address with additional funds. Adults and children are open to learning and improving their knowledge, schools offer us times to come and educate, and we have a fantastic Namibian-made magazine called ‘PAKO Kids’ about nature and animals; however, we have no funds allocated for education, and the current volunteers do not have enough time for the education we need to do. Nonetheless, we always encourage owners to ask questions and engage in discussions during spay days, utilizing the available time to provide education wherever feasible.

We recognise that addressing the educational gap would significantly enhance overall animal welfare. However, given the current constraints, we must prioritise more urgent matters.

Mobile trailer reach in Namibia
Childrenr eading Pako magazine
Children with their Pako magazines
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