International Fund for Africa
Issue: XXXIII     November, 2012
International Fund for Africa Newsletter
In This Issue:
IFA Presents at Indian Conference on Animal Protection
A Healthy Combination: Bringing Yoga and Veganism Together
Members of the Maasai Tribe of Kenya Request IFA's Help
A Single Compassionate Act
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Upcoming Events

Fall-Winter, 2012

International Fund for Africa is sponsoring a medical mission to Zemero, Ethiopia.



September 12-15, 2013

IFA President/CEO, Anteneh Roba M.D., will speak at the International Animal Rights Conference in Luxembourg.



September 27-29, 2013

IFA President/CEO, Anteneh Roba M.D., will speak at the India International Vegan Festival at Sthitaprajna Vegan Centre, Byndoor, Karnataka.




IFA Presents at Indian Conference on Animal Protection


On November 18, 2012, IFA President and co-founder, Dr. Anteneh Roba, delivered a presentation at the 2012 India for Animals Conference. Sponsored by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO), the three-day conference provided a forum for organizations, professionals, and activists to meet and work toward the common cause of protecting the animals who live among us.


The conference was held this year in Goa, India, and was a remarkable opportunity for IFA to engage with others working to help animals across the world. Dr. Roba's presentation, "Learnings from the International Fund for Africa," offered a discussion of IFA's own work in Africa, especially focusing on the challenges animals and animal protection organizations face each day.


A Healthy Combination: Bringing Yoga and Veganism Together


On Saturday, November 17, 2012, IFA brought together yoga enthusiasts and vegans in an international workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Aida Abdu organized an Iyengar Yoga Workshop, which was followed by a delicious vegan lunch. Over 20 people from a variety of countries attended in this new effort to create a meeting place for all those interested in considering a plant-based diet and/or yoga. We will be following up this workshop with similar functions in the future. Through these fun and welcoming events, we hope to further spread our knowledge about veganism and its benefits. We welcome anyone with an interest or desire to learn about the amazing health and environmental benefits of veganism, as well as the compassion that inspires many vegans to adopt a plant-based diet. By providing this community of supportive people interested in yoga and healthy eating, we hope to engage our immediate community in the critical efforts we are making in Africa today.


Members of the Maasai Tribe of Kenya Request IFA's Help


The Maasai Tribe of Kenya has long-held a reputation as a group of fierce fighters who live an almost exclusively carnivorous lifestyle. In October 2012, three members of the tribe, Benjamin, Julius, and Noah, traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, to meet with IFA President Anteneh Roba. These three men, all leaders in their community, requested assistance from IFA to instruct their people on converting to a plant-based way of life.


In an email describing this meeting and the significance this outreach holds for their community, Benjamin thanked Dr. Roba for his efforts and advice in helping the Maasai leaders work toward becoming a vegan community. He explained the challenges they currently face as a community:


"The Maasai are pastoralist and entirely depend on animal products for food .... introducing them to vegetarian [food] is something [that takes] much effort and process. Teaching them to know how to plant various food crops and ... to substitute animal products is very important. [Our] district is rich in fertile soils (loams) and receive[s] sufficient rainfall .... If people [get] farming skills and capital to invest in farming nobody will [continue] killing animals [for food]. We are willing to set [an] example ... for them to know animals' right to live as God created."


To accomplish this vegan goal for their community, Benjamin explained that he and his two fellow leaders were prepared to spread the message to their community, and gradually bring about a change in their approach to the animals living among them. IFA will aid in this effort by providing literature in both Swahili and English, on veganism and the development of a compassionate attitude toward animals.


By being engaged with local community members, IFA is able to assist the Maasai Tribe and other rural inhabitants in their own efforts to help their communities.


A Single Compassionate Act



While on his trip to Goa, India, to present at the 2012 India for Animals Conference, IFA President Anteneh Roba took a side trip to Chennai, Indiana, to visit the Blue Cross of India, a very well-respected animal protection organization that has long been saving animals from sickness, injuries, abandonment, and neglect. Such a place as this is incredible to see.


The marks of neglect and cruelty still lingering on the animals cannot help but make a visitor incredibly saddened by what they have endured. The evidence cries out that human beings can be so quick to hurt the non-human companions we have around us.


Yet, there is always a glimpse of hope and success in places like the Blue Cross of India. Walking through the sanctuary, Dr. Roba was heartened by the dedication of the staff in helping the resident animals. Their efforts made the place a safe and happy one for animals that had gone through so much to get there.


As he was about to leave the sanctuary, Dr. Roba witnessed a particular scene that reveals just how natural it is for us to feel compassion for non-human animals. An Indian lady sat on the floor of an empty, large room at the Animal Shelter, hand-feeding a baby bird. Oblivious to all else around her, the woman cradled the baby bird and tenderly fed the tiny animal. Her simple actions contradicted all the neglect and maltreatment that had led these animals to the sanctuary, and serves as a reminder to us of how natural it is to love and care for animals that depend on us.