VET BOOKS FOR AFRICA is a truly unique, student-run venture that was established in 1993 with the aim to empower our fellow veterinary universities in other countries and to build sustainable international relations between veterinary students. We are based in Onderstepoort, Pretoria, South Africa, at the University of Pretoria.
Since 1993 a group of 8 South African veterinary students have been making this amazing trip biannually, making a bigger impact every time. So far we have collectively made 13 trips, reached 6 universities, traveled 84 000 kilometers and distributed approximately 2300 books.
Unlocking the true potential of conservation in Africa through the education of its people. One Health. One Africa.
We aim to distribute textbooks, journals and other veterinary supplies and equipment to veterinary faculties, rural communities and schools in various countries of Africa, while aiding and volunteering at veterinary clinics and conservation sanctuaries en route.
We strive to promote education and conservation through our actions and to unite veterinary students of Africa in order to achieve the ultimate goal of preserving this world for generations to come.
WHAT DOES THIS ENTAIL?
On a 6-week journey during December 2020 and January 2021, we will drive about 12 000 kilometers in our trip up into Africa. We will be visiting Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya and Uganda in our endeavor. We plan to distribute much needed veterinary commodities to universities and volunteer at veterinary clinics and conservation sanctuaries en route.
Vet Books for Africa had the privilege of volunteering at the World Youth Wildlife Summit of 2019. It was held at the South African Wildlife College in Timbavati game reserve, in the Kruger National Park. During this time the team helped wherever they could to contribute towards the success of the summit. It turned out to be a successful summit indeed, where 200 young conservation leaders from across the world came together to address the issue of wildlife crime and what we can do to protect our animals for generations to come.
The Summit began with a symbolic silent march in which everyone acknowledged the fallen rangers, late conservationists and everyone else who have lost their lives in the line of duty for conservation. During the Summit, various guest speakers who are prominent leaders in the field of conservation spoke to us about pressing issues we are facing with our wildlife in South Africa. Indaba sessions were held intermittently to engage with the youth to form resolutions against the issues presented. We were also treated with a visit to Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center, as well as a game drive in the Kruger Park.
It was incredibly special to be part of such an event, with so many people passionate about conservation together in one place, putting their minds, hearts and souls into coming up with practical solutions against poaching and other types of wildlife crime. The Kingsley Holsgate Foundation, Project Rhino KZN and African Wildlife Trust among others, were the main drivers and organizers behind this amazing initiative.
Vet Books for Africa is fueled with renewed passion for our own mission after seeing at the Summit how important conservation is and what immense role education plays in the fight for our animals!
Vet Books for Africa and the International Veterinary Students’ Association (IVSA) have collaborated for a number of years and, with much excitement, have once again extended the relationship!
IVSA is a non-profit organization run by volunteer veterinary students that was founded in 1953. It is a global organization that involves thousands of veterinary students from over 60 different countries from all around the world.
The mission of IVSA is “To benefit the animals and people of the world by harnessing the potential and dedication of veterinary students to promote the international application of veterinary skills, education and knowledge.”
The way in which this is achieved is by arranging annual meetings (congresses and symposia) and facilitating exchanges between the different member organizations.
IVSA is also very active in arranging various projects and educational opportunities on an international platform with the main focus being on animal welfare, one health, veterinary education, soft skills and general wellness of the veterinary students in our profession.
IVSA will assist us by collecting books and equipment from various countries and veterinary organisations around the world. We aim to promote them to the best of our ability during our trip next year to help them in building relationships with other Veterinary faculties.
Vet Books for Africa is extremely excited to announce that our project will be launching on GlobalGiving on the 18th of July, 2019!
GlobalGiving is an online crowdfunding community with the aim of helping various charities and organisations raise the funds they need to make a difference. It connects us to potential donors and companies from across the world, and makes donating as easy as a click away!
Our mission is to empower fellow vet students up in Africa to become better Veterinarians one day, something that can never be taken away from them. It will have a ripple effect on the protection, quality of Veterinarian care and conservation of African animals across the continent.
To realize this goal, we need to raise all the funds needed for our trip. We need funding for the latest veterinary textbooks and publications from international and local sources, 4×4 transportation, accommodation, fuel, food, visas, vaccinations and various miscellaneous supplies on the wish lists of the chosen charities and universities.
We have all the passion, will and dedication needed to achieve this dream, all we need is your financial help to make it a reality.
If you are able to help us in our cause, please consider clicking this button to go to our page on GlobalGiving.
We have some exciting news to share! Vet Books for Africa has formed a partnership with Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT).
WCT is an entity that was founded through the efforts of many dedicated people and organizations working towards the conservation of endangered and vulnerable animal species.
The WCT facilitates projects with a focus on conservation, rehabilitation and the protection of wildlife; as well as education and training programs relating to the environment.
Projects associated with the WCT plays a critical role in the relocation and rescuing of abandoned, injured and orphaned animals. All projects are undertaken with the eventual goal of repopulating animals (both captive-bred and rehabilitated) to suitable natural preserves, with a long-term view of benefiting broad-scale wildlife conservation objectives in Southern Africa, for the ultimate well- being of planet earth and its inhabitants.
Wildlife Conservation Trust Vision
To make a sustainable difference to vulnerable animal species, specifically those under threat of extinction;
To be a partner to those whose work is fundamental to conservation, but who are restricted by a lack of money; as well as those who have the desire and capacity to offer tangible support;
To educate people about the need to conserve wildlife and the environment.
Wildlife Conservation Trust Objectives
Facilitating sustainable activities relating to conservation, rehabilitation and the protection of wildlife;
Facilitating the care of animals in need, as well as the prevention of ill-treatment;
Engaging in education and training programmes relating to environmental awareness;
Facilitating projects whose focus is on educational enrichment, academic support, supplementary tuition or outreach programmes for the poor and needy;
Facilitating training for unemployed persons with the purpose of enabling them to find work that is meaningful and sustainable;
Facilitating the provision of school buildings or equipment for public schools and educational institutions engaged in public benefit activities.
Wildlife Conservation Trust offers Vet Books an amazing opportunity to reach even more people and animals with our efforts. We are excited to walk a path together and learn from this awesome organisation how to make a tangible and lasting difference in our continent and its animals!
We were very excited to be part of this year’s Maverick’s outreach! Partnering up with numerous other student clubs and OPVSC (Onderstepoort Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Committee), we set out together with medical and dentistry students to make a difference in a community close to Pretoria. Anyone and everyone of the community was invited for free medical and dental screenings, and dogs were vaccinated and given free dog food. Vet Books for Africa donated Rabies booklets that we handed out to all the children of the community to raise awareness about the zoonotic disease. It was a very successful day and very heartening to see students from different faculties caring about the community in the way they are able to!
Gerhard Gregory – Chairperson and Universities An-Marie van Deventer – Vice Chairperson and Books and Equipment Xander van Eeden – Routes and Itinerary Zandre Pretorius – Routes and Itinerary Elizabeth Burchmore – Fundraising and Social Media Juane Meyer – Charities and Website Lize-Mari Marais – Treasurer and Secretary Pieter Bezuidenhout – Sponsorships and Media
We are a group of Veterinary students that all have the keen desire to unlock the true potential of conservation in our beautiful continent. We believe that this is possible through educating its people, especially those working directly with animals.
We look forward to doing our bit in African conservation. We are both humbled and honored to be chosen for the task!
In February the committee of 2017/18 had the difficult job of electing the committee that would carry the mission of Vet Books forward in the best way possible. It was not an easy task; pouring your time, energy and soul into such a beautiful mission for two years will make you quite attached to it. You don’t want to entrust the mission to just anyone. Thus the committee set out to select the eight veterinary students they felt would uphold the legacy the best. After reading a mountain of motivational letters, they selected a group and held interviews with them to get to know the heart behind each candidate. Sitting late into the night after a lot of contemplation, they finally made their choice. A new committee was born.
Vet Books for Africa committee 2017/18, we salute you. You chose us to keep the fire of this cause burning bright, and we will not disappoint you. Thank you for the meaningful contribution you made to the education of Africa’s people and the conservation of Africa’s animals on your trip in December and January. We strive to make you proud in our own quest of making a tangible and lasting difference in Africa. We want to make Vet Books for Africa as meaningful as ever. As Isaac Newton said: “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” We as a new committee are both humbled and honored to be chosen to fill your shoes. From strength to strength, Vet Books for Africa will live on.