A Volunteer’s Story: From Belgium to Khayelitsha, with love

Author Kimberley Touker looked up Mdzananda Animal Clinic on the internet, wrote to the staff, and began volunteering shortly after.This blog is written by Kimberley Touker, a 24-year-old vet student from the Netherlands who studied veterinary medicine in Belgium and graduated this past July. --LCH

In 2012 I visited South Africa for the first time with the University of Antwerp to learn about wildlife. Being in South Africa was such a special experience. I loved every moment and I decided that I had to go back one day. When I finished veterinary school, I started looking on the Internet and found Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

After reading about the good work they do, I knew I had to volunteer with them. I emailed asking if I could volunteer and was welcomed to the clinic.

I started working as a volunteer on 13 October 2015 (having committed for six months, I will go back home on 10 March 2016). I have already learned so much! The veterinarians are very helpful and eager to teach and share with me all their knowledge. It is a great place to gain experience and learn how much can be done with very little.

The author performing a procedure on one of the clinic’s patients.

The animals of Khayelitsha and their owners have crept deep into my heart, especially two little kittens. A lady from the community saw a man throw two kittens into a field. She waited for him to go away after which she went to look for them. She found them and they were just a few weeks old. She brought them to Mdzananda to look after them. I fell in love with the kittens and immediately started bottle feeding them. Within a few days they were going home with me. They now go home with me every day and my host family has promised to adopt them once I go back to the Netherlands.

The author bottle feeding an abandoned kitten brought to Mdzananda

Thank you to Mdzananda for everything I have experienced and learnt so far and for everything you do for the animals and people of Khayelitsha.

--KT

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