|Horses at ACE in October 2012|
When I was in Egypt last October, I visited Animal Care in Egypt (ACE), a not-for-profit dedicated to "easing and preventing the suffering of animals through the provision of sustainable veterinary treatment and education programmes for local people." Impacted by the condition of the animals they saw while on vacation in Luxor, Brits Kim Taylor and Julie Wartenberg decided to establish ACE and take tangible steps toward making a difference in the way that animals are cared for in Egypt. I spoke with Kim about this endeavour and this is what she said...
What is your definition of living mindfully?
Every day on the streets I see sad treatment of animals by those who aren’t aware of their actions. Mostly there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I have to keep reminding myself that I can’t fix everything so I concentrate on what can be done now to improve life. I always try to discourage negative talk and be positive no matter what is happening, as difficult as that can sometimes be.
Of what achievements are you most proud that ACE has been able to accomplish?
I am so proud of our Hospital. We are unique in Egypt. We started with the simple idea to provide a place where working animals (donkeys, camels, horses) could have some relief in their day, to now having a Hospital. We also give advice on preventative care and have full hospitalization facilities at no cost to owners. Being able to educate local school children on animal welfare in an excellent facility also makes me feel proud as we are the only charity providing this in Egypt.
What do you see as the future of ACE?
I would like to see ACE recognized as a gold standard for animal care in Egypt. Many people are seeing the vital importance of hospital care for animals in the same way that it is vital for human. We can be just as educated about health care, BUT we also need somewhere to go when there is an emergency we can’t handle.
How do you hope to make a difference in this life?
I am just a small part of ACE. It is the effort and dedication of the whole team and our loyal supporters that make it all work so well. I do hope that along the way I have been able to help both animals and people in a small way and I will be happy to do that for as long as is possible.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to make a mark, but doesn't know how?
I remember wanting to do something about many injustices I had witnessed while on holiday. Most times these things are forgotten when returning to the reality of daily life. BUT if you really feel strongly about something and want to do your part then research /talk /don’t give up on your dream. Even if you can’t act straight away, put your whole heart and soul into making just one small change and the bigger things will follow.