LEST you judge or condemn the owners of these equines for not feeding or caring properly for the horses, donkeys and mules in their charge–let’s step back for a minute.
Our mission and vision
The Brooke is determined to do whatever it takes to ensure that the right elements are in place for working horses, donkeys and mules to be healthy and happy in the long-term.
The Brooke works directly and through partners to do whatever will most improve the welfare* of working horses, donkeys and mules through the alleviation of existing suffering and the development of equine welfare practices and facilities to prevent and reduce suffering in the future.
The Brooke’s vision is of a world in which working horses, donkeys and mules are free from suffering.
The Brooke delivers practical programmes and provides support, advice, funding and infrastructure to its global network of employees, partners and supporters to make that vision a reality.
Many good people come together to assure that the Brooke fulfills its mission. in 2012, The Brooke aided approximately 1.1 million animals, who in turn benefited six million people. Over 800 staff of the Brooke are around the world, even as I write this, helping these very working equines. These are the horses, donkeys and mules who would share your Life, if indeed our previously-discussed scenario played out. (You, poor and disenfranchised.)]
Eight-hundred staffers, all of whom have a heart for working equines, who give their all, 365, to help the animals and–by extension–the humans in their lives.
Now, when most Americans–and many others around the world–think of the Royal Family of the United Kingdom–we think about polo. And horse racing. Royal Ascot, wild hats and full champagne glasses. But if we read at all, (and are capable of separating our long-held myths from reality) we realize that the Royal Family has a long-standing tradition of philanthropy and extraordinary love for animals.
Horses and other equines are at the top of that list of animals who stir that emotional trigger for the Royals.
So it’s a natural, that HRH (Her Royal Highness) the Duchess of Cornwall–Camilla-
would be President of the Brooke, and thereby lend her name, her energy and attention to such a worthy cause. She currently is serving her second term as President, and embraces her work for the organization and the world’s working equines with passion, enthusiasm and deep love for the equines and their humans who benefit from the Brooke’s labors of love. Her Royal Highness stated recently:
“Having seen for myself the wonderful work the Brooke does in their clinic in Cairo and Pakistan to help the suffering of working animals, it makes me incredibly proud to be the President of this unique charity and to follow its course with enormous interest.
Over the next few years the Brooke will be expanding into new countries, to bring it closer to achieving its goal of improving the welfare of two million animals each year.
This is a hugely important step and I wish the Brooke and its teams of dedicated staff, working in the field, every possible success with this objective.”
Her Royal Highness could not have chosen a more fitting (or worthy) organization with which to cast her heart and her energies, for
It is estimated that 50 million working animals are suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, malnutrition, and abuse as a result of excessive workloads and limited animal health services in developing countries. They endure grueling, back-breaking labor under the harshest of physical and environmental conditions, on behalf of the working poor, whose very lives are inextricably tied to them in order to earn a living and support their families. These animals are a lifeline to countless poor communities. (website citation)
The Brooke currently has a presence in Egypt, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nepal, Senegal, Jordan, and Guatemala.
Another royal I’d like to mention here–because she’s someone I love and deeply respect–is Her Royal Highness Princess Alia Bint Al Hussein of Jordan. Princess Alia, daughter of the late, truly great King Hussein and namesake of the Princess Alia Foundation, has served as a Patron of The Brooke since 1988. She is one of the kindest hearts in the world, with an extraordinary capacity for sympathy and empathy for animals and humans. Her work over the past decades on behalf of horses, wild animals and humans in need is renowned. It should not have surprised me at all to read The Brooke’s website and see that she is a Patron. The website reads thus about her work there:
…Since that time, the Brooke has seen a significant improvement in the welfare of working equine animals in Petra Park. She continues to play a vital role in supporting our work to ensure local veterinary care is available for horses and donkeys in Petra and good welfare is maintained.
It makes complete sense to me that two such gracious women would work together to benefit the world’s working equines and the humans who love and need them.
American Friends of The Brooke: Awareness, Partnership, Support.
One of the the Brooke’s noble goals is to double that number of 1.1 million equines helped, by 2016. To do this, the Brooke has extended its outreach into North America for awareness, partnership and support by the creation of American Friends of the Brooke, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, is poised to generate that support.
In early January, 2013, it was announced that Lexington, Kentucky, had been chosen by The Brooke as their American headquarters. The presence of an international organization with such close ties to the British Royal Family, further emphasizes the spirit of cooperation and common values shared–values that know no nationality, religion or borders.
The values of providing for those who have not–while teaching them, and helping them and their animal companions to live full, productive lives–are things in which every citizen of the world can believe. The Lexington-based office, presenting a face of the organization in a region that’s equine-centric– will help Americans to learn more about the needs of working equines and their humans who live so far below the poverty level.
So Here’s the Deal.
OK, so you’ve been challenged to envision yourself as being stripped of all your cash, cars and houses–to see yourself as a poor person whose horse, donkey or mule is essential for Life.
You’ve now read about the Brooke, and American Friends of The Brooke, and you know about the amazing work of love that they do.
You’ve seen the photos, of equines who look like they can barely stand, and of the dear people who love them and want their best animal friend to live well.
If the equine companion thrives–they can work and earn and thrive, together.
Now you know. And if you know but don’t act–even a little–then the teeny faith that I have in humanity will be dashed against the rocks. Please don’t prove my cynicism to be correct: when I hear of some horrible thing that a human’s done–or kindness that they could have extended, but did not–I recite aloud,
“The more humans I meet…the more I love horses.”
But If you can give ONE dollar, one Peso, Euro, Yen, Dirham, Dinar, Rupee–please do. If you can give up a cup of coffee–pull your head out of your own world for two minutes, and drive past Starbucks–and give that coffee money for just one day–to the cause–you will have done something noble.
If you tithe, and can give your tithe for this week–I think that not only will God understand, but He’ll bless you for it.
And if you’re reading this article and you’re wealthy--God forbid, a One-Percenter–and don’t give a red cent to this incredibly noble cause–I would sit down with myself and re-work my values, were I you. Being rich and ignoring such deep need is a sincere indicator of a sick soul.
You really can’t take it with you. It’s been tried, doesn’t work.
If you really can’t give even a dollar, but you can blog about it–that can be your contribution, a gift given in love. Or if you can do something else–anything that utilizes your talents, your passion for equines, and your love, please contact
Fundraising Development Manager
American Friends of The Brooke
(859) 489-4795 (cell)
http://www.thebrookeusa.org / http://www.thebrooke.org
At the core, it’s about this:– if you can look at this dear animal in Afghanistan:
Or this sad, hungry creature:
...and do NOTHING...then I pity you, even more than I pity these poor, precious animals and their people–for a person who can see such need and walk away without doing something to help–however small a gesture–is a sick soul.
People and horses die from malnutrition, but the human spirit is killed by hardness-of-heart. Please consider warming your heart, one small dollar or kindness at a time. Thank you for reading this very long article–for looking at the photos and watching the video–for crying along with me–and for responding however you are able.
God bless you, my equine community.