Funda Nenja was founded in 2009 with the aim of promoting the bond between children living in the townships and their dogs, through the discipline of dog training. The project includes education on animal welfare (including the need for sterilisation), humane handling of animals, as well as gentle dog training classes that take place on a weekly basis in Mpophomeni, a township in the Umgungundlovu District Municipality. Since its inception five years ago, the condition of the dogs in the community has visibly improved, but it’s not only the animals who have benefited – the children who take part learn about self-discipline and responsibility, which in the long run develops their personal growth and leads to an improved sense of self-worth. Through a partnership with the Ethembeni AIDS Ministry the children also have access to the services of a social worker who is able to offer them educational and psychological guidance.
Funda Nenja has become an important part of the Mpophomeni community, with the number of children attending the classes growing every year. Several of the children have also gone on to become part of the team of instructors who help to train the dogs. This is a project that is full of love, promise and respect – for each other and our four legged friends! A big thank you to all of the volunteers who make Funda Nenja possible – what a worthwhile way to spend your Saturdays!