To date our SA.MAST facility has successfully hosted 351 mass sterilisation and primary treatment days. Over 9000 patients have benefitted from our FREE services.
A message from Tamsin Nel, Founder and Managing Director of SA.MAST.
Above all else, I value honesty the most. I believe that no problem can be solved and no path can be forged to secure a desirable future without truth. So let me be truthful.
There is NOTHING we have done in 2014 that would have been possible if it hadn't been for you and the support you have given us. You are, simply put, the lifeblood that flows through our veins - it was your acts of kindness and your words of encouragement that empowered SA.MAST and therefore the Khayelitsha community.
Please, stop and think about what I have said for a moment and in the silence please, please hear me when I say…
I have never in my life worked with a group of people who is as dedicated and willing as the SA.MAST team is to changing the status quo and really, really bringing about a measurable and lasting change.
I can honestly say that we live up to our name and then some!
In the spirit of being truthful...
2014 was a difficult year for me. On the one hand SA.MAST had to be lead and managed, funds needed to be raised, existing and new mandates had to be forefilled. When the laws of the land and powerful problematic issues within the animal welfare sector were not standing in our way, we certainly can say that once again we have lead from the front - we innovated, implemented and got the job done!
How did we lead from the front?
We performed a controlled, humane and measurable mass animal sterilisation campaign in Site C of Khayelitsha- using only SA.MAST resources.
Our facts and figures are our own and we have lived up to our oath
to be truthful and accountable.
As part of the campaign a SA.MAST designed 'Health and Welfare Audit'
for every animal we were able to get access to
(including already sterilized animals) was implemented.
When this audit indicated that assistance or intervention was needed,
In the history of mass sterilisation anywhere in the world,
this has never been done before.
We stared reality in the face and decided to act accordingly.
Many of our sterilisation patients did not have access to adequate shelter and
were not valued as much as they should be by their guardians.
How to change this?
We did what few others would be willing to do – we mass produced specially made waterproof cushions and kennels and distributed them every week!
What did this achieve?
Shelter and improved health for dogs and pups.
Gained the trust and appreciation of the pet guardian which opened the door for greater cooperation.
Noted that in most cases the guardians began to pay more attention to their dog's needs, including calling our medical assist line in the case of sickness and injury.
Noted that many of the recalcitrant neighbours, who also had dogs and cats, decided to follow their neighbours example and allow us to sterilise their animals too.
But what stood in our way from
achieving even greater heights?
Truthfully, it was the loss of our citizenship – figuratively speaking.
We have never ever been thanked for anything we have done and when I have asked for meetings or tried to arrange workshops to address issues such as
City allocated funding, Khayelitsha back yard breeding, law enforcement and
the CoCT by-laws, SA.MAST has UNCONSITUTIONALLY been ignored because we are not a member of an informal forum that has absolutely no legal standing.
To this very day, not once has any member of local or provincial government ever acknowledged how much work we have done in Khayelitsha, how much change we have brought about, or how much we have helped our Government to produce safer and healthier communities. And when I say 'we' I include you, the donor too.
The only assistance we have ever received is permission to use a dumpsite from which to operate from and the supply of rabies vaccines.
We are going to try one last time. In January 2015, we are again going to request the meetings and workshops that are urgently needed and we hope with all our hearts that we will receive a positive response.
We are going to publish our written requests and any responses.
And if we are still ignored or if we encounter any further attempts to intimidate, obfuscate, deceive or delay we are going to publish an explosive report, including evidence that will once and for all show that what is said in public and what was said to me personally, are two entirely different things.
Yes, we are reaching a turning point. SA.MAST is about animals and the health and welfare of all the people in Khayelitsha and we believe 2015 has to be a year of greater change than that already achieved. All we want is steady progress in the right direction – and we truly hope that throughout 2015 we have nothing but good news to report.
I leave you with these two political quotations:
SA.MAST is in the animal welfare sector and regrettably does not employ politicians.