Friday, January 19, 2018

The Future Is Now!

On this September morning our Spanky Project Team assembled 
near the lancha (ferry) docks in Habana Vieja.
With representation from France, The Netherlands, Turkey, USA, Canada and Cuba 
we were truly an international team.
Before hitting the road Audrey Mabie, president of 
handed out some stylish scrub tops.
Our first surgical day was not at our Havana home base, Quinta de los Molinos.
 We were headed to San Jose de las Lajas now home to the veterinary school.

A point of interest, until 1976 the veterinary school was located across from Quinta de los Molinos .
After overcoming car issues with Cuban ingenuity and 
Claudia's "encouragement"
we were back on the road.
A 30km drive brought us to the Province of Mayabeque 
and it capital San Jose de las Lajas.
Here, we were met by students of the 
Facultad de Medicina VeterinariaUniversidad Agraria de La Habana
and the student group... 
Veterinarios for la Protección y Bienestar Animal


In their own words....
The VESPA group is based at the Agrarian University of Havana (UNAH) and is made up of students and professors who advocate for Animal Welfare. We carry out mass sterilization campaigns and free deparisitizations  in different locations in the Mayabeque province. We have a shelter in which we welcome a limited number of animals due to the characteristics of the building of the place, among other limitations. With some of these dogs we perform assisted therapy for children with special needs in a school in San José, this activity is recognized nationally.
Our main task is to educate the community in general about Animal Welfare and the importance of this for sustainable development. And try to change the world of more than one animal, we speak for those who have no voice, but who like us suffer and feel.
All of our sterilization campañas have the participation of veterinary students.
They are the future and we are honoured to work with them on their home turf.
With limited supplies available in Cuba teaching opportunities like this have been limited.
Until recently veterinary schools had focused on beasts of burden and food production.
Still much of the practical, small and companion animal, education takes place outside of the curriculum.
In mini campaña like this and our mass campañas in Havana.

This mini-campaña was held outdoors at an athletic complex.
From the intake exam..
through surgery..
.. to recovery this was a student run campaña.
A big thank you to Dr.Slavik Zenkov (left) and
Dr.Rayko Calimano (red).
They both work with VESPA on an ongoing basis.
Both join in on our campañas in Havana.
Note: Blandine and Claudia (on the left) with their new scrub tops thanks to Audrey (right).
Stylin' the scrub!
Dr.Natacha Nuñez, Vice Dean, holds court with the local media.
Here is a news report from our visit in 2011.

In 2003 the Spanky Project was born. 
The first Cuban veterinarian we met was Dr.Joemel Betancourt.
He is a graduate of the veterinary school in San Jose.
Now living In Qatar,  and as good fortune would have it,  in Cuba during our September campaña.
He joined us and the veterinary students.
It was great to reunite with "Dr.Joe".
We are increasing our support for the VESPA group.
On March 3 we will be back in San Jose.
At that time will share some exciting news with them.
When we return we will share it with you.

Help us help them.

The future is now!
Donate Now Through!