On the 13th of October, the Onderstepoort students gathered for the great biennial Vet Books dodgeball tournament. It was expected to be a thriller, with teams from all five of the major corridors ready to leave to defend their honour. Helshoogte reigned supreme in pool one, winning all of their matches – Marli Havenga doing particular damage with her wickedly powerful throws. Pool two was a much tighter affair, with two teams (OP Heights and The Dodgefathers) tied on points at the end of the round robin matches. The winner would have to be decided by a play-off. Although probably the better dressed of the two teams, OP Heights fell short right at the end, unable to capitalize on a good start. And so it was Helshoogte versus The Dodgefathers in the final. It turned out to be a gripping affair – with the lead changing hands multiple times – but with their calm and collected manner, The Dodgefathers clinched the match with a superb final few throws. Despite the intensity and competitiveness, all teams said they thoroughly enjoyed it and would be back for more with the next instalment. A massive shoutout must go to Stoney – our MC – for a fantastic job commentating, as well as to Hills for sponsoring us some great gifts for the winners, runners-up and best dressed.
It is with much ado that we present our largest sponsor to come on board this year: Avima.
Avima, which is a division of Ascendis health, is a company involved in the agricultural industry, especially pest and vector control. They play a vital role in maintaining food security and animal welfare of livestock within Southern Africa, through both their products and their research in and development of sustainable vector control programs.
After hearing about their involvement with various health organizations, such as WHO, UNICEF and Malaria Consortium to name a few, we decided to approach them and ask if they would be interesting in sponsoring us. We were absolutely blown away by their response. Their sponsorship if far and away the largest contribution we have received this year. Through their sponsorship we will be able to cover the remainder of our petrol costs, border fees, food and other supplies, as well as any ancillary costs which may pop up along the way. Their support is so massive that we have decided to make them our joint primary sponsor, along with Isuzu.
Not only have they decided to cover the majority of our trip, but they have pledged space on their transport trucks which travel all the way up to Kenya. This allows us to free up space in our Isuzu bakkies to carry even more supplies to the universities and charities we’ll be visiting. This partnership couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, as it allows us to now focus entirely on the gathering donations for the universities and charities which we’ll be visiting! We, as a team, would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to Avima – you guys are allowing us to do some amazing things on our journey. Please check out their website at www.avima-sa.co.za to see all of the incredible things that they have been doing and how they’re ensuring that agriculture and public health remain robust within South Africa.
For any faculty staff, clinicians or students wishing to support our mission: If you have any academic veterinary text books that you haven’t used in a while and wish to donate them to a good cause we would love to get hold of them. Vet Books for Africa will be travelling through Africa on a six week trip during November and December 2016 and will be dropping off these academic books to various African veterinary faculties that need them.
These resources mean a great deal to the students at the faculties that receive them. Victor Toroitich, a student from the faculty of veterinary medicine at the University of Nairobi, had the following to say in response to previous donations taken up by Vet Books for Africa:
“We wish to express our sincere gratitude for the donations you have made to our faculty. It has made us move a step higher in enhancing our knowledge. It also goes a long way in elevating the Veterinary profession in this part of the continent Africa. We say THANK YOU.!!”
Please see attached notice.
Every Year Merrifield Preparatory School and College in East London presents an award to a charity which they feel stands by their ethos and is making positive difference in the world. After hearing that one of their past pupils was involved in this years Vet Books for Africa trip, after much deliberation, they decided to present this award and it financial donation to Vet Books for Africa. We would like to, as the Vet Books team, thank you for your generosity. to learn a bit about this lovely school, follow this link to thier Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Merrifield-College-116778885039575/.
The vet books team wants to make a massive thank you out to the South African Veterinary Association, and especially to the Young Members Group. Although the aim of the organization is to help guide new veterinarians in their first five years of professional life, the group has made an exception and has decided to help us eight vet students even before we qualify! We recommend that any young veterinarian or veterinary student check out and follow their page, as they can make a massive difference in smoothing the transition from Onderstepoort student to fully-fledged vet. You can read about them and find out how to become a member at https://www.facebook.com/SAVAyoungmembers/timeline.
Avimune, a specialist poultry veterinary service, has continued to show their commitment to our continent – not just within our borders, but also abroad. Following on from their visit to Congo Poultry near the small town of Maluku (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Avimune has decided to support Vet Books with finances for both fuel and accommodation. Their contribution will play a vital role in our trip, and we greatly appreciate their contribution to our cause. Check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Avimune/ to see all the things that they have been getting up to in Sub-Saharan Africa.
We’re very please to announce that the partnership which started in 2014 between Tabard and Vet Books for Africa is set to continue into this trip as well. In 2014 Tabard very generously donated a large amount of their products to the Vet Books team to use on their trip up to Kenya. Despite the teams best efforts, they were unable to use all of the supplies that they had been given and so, in Malawi, they decided to distribute the additional mosquito repellent in a local village that they were staying in.
In most parts of South Africa mosquitoes are merely a nuisance which leave you with nothing more than a few itchy-bites, but further North in Africa, the deadly disease malaria is a real threat that citizens of tropical countries have to deal with on a daily basis. The Tabard mosquito repellent delivered to the above mentioned village went a long way in helping their struggle against malaria.
Following on from this episode, Tabard has pledged to donate another batch of products – both for the team and for distribution – for Vet Books for Africa to take with them. Additional to this, they’ve pledged a monetary donation to be used for petrol – a critical factor for the success of the trip.
Onderstepoort decided to host their annual Open Day on the fourth of March, and as part of it the faculty had each of the societies introduce themselves to prospective students and their families. Our ever-present chairman manned a crew of three to present a very successful station. As part of the day, the Vet Books for Africa team introduced themselves and the mission that we stand for to all of the prospective students, showing them what they could be part of one day at Onderstepoort. Hopefully a number of hearts were inspired by the cause. Along with information sessions, the team also sold the doughnuts and the personalized bracelets – both of which turned out to be massive hits. If you’d like to get you own VB4A bracelet, feel free to contact any one of the team members and they’ll get back to you with a perfectly fitted bracelet.
The Vet Books team would like to say a massive thank to both the British Veterinary Association and the Wildlife Group of the South African Veterinary Association. Both groups donated a massive amount of books for us to take into Africa. The books from the British Veterinary Association were donated through their Book Aid Scheme, while the Wildlife Group donated their books directly after their Wildlife Convention which took place this last weekend. We would like to make special mention that both of these donations were instigated by the respective groups without our input or knowledge, which makes the donation that much more generous. A special thanks should also go out to Dr Jane Alexander, a small animal veterinarian from Winslow/Buckingham area, who very kindly brought the books donated by the BVA to South Africa.
Want to see who we are and what we look like? Well, we’ve put together a little something for you to check out. Click here to see who exactly it is you’ll supporting in this trip through Africa. alternatively, copy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG7uPBOEM5c into your web address bar and hit enter.