Jean Claude Masengesho
Project Manager Rwanda
During his childhood in the Rwandan countryside, Jean Claude Masengesho used to take care of his grandmothers’ goats. Fascinated by the animals, he already aimed at becoming a veterinarian when he was attending primary school. He made this dream come true by achieving a bachelor’s degree of veterinary medicine in 2014. A year later, he started to work in the field of animal health. Today, he is pursuing a master’s degree of project management. Since getting to know VETS UNITED through a workshop in Tanzania he has collaborated with the project. In January 2020, he became project manager of VETS UNITED Rwanda.
WTG: How would you describe the animal welfare situation in the country?
JCM: Animal welfare is a new subject to many people from my country; the official CPD programme is not yet being established at country level. In Rwanda, there is no specific law that addresses animal welfare as a whole. What does exist are ministerial orders that prescribe how transportation and domestic care of certain domestic animals should be conducted.
We are working very hard to improve animal welfare countrywide by telling our people that animals are sentient beings just as we are, and that all the animals need respect and compassion.
WTG: How has the quality of the education and animal welfare in general changed so far through the VETS UNITED education programme? What are your hopes for the future?
JCM: Since we received the VETS UNITED online resources the quality of education has changed for the better. By now, many vets and paravets are using these resources and I hope that they keep using them in CPD programmes. If they do so, I am sure that it will have a big positive impact for the profession of veterinarian in Rwanda. In the long term, I hope for the dedicated stakeholders to involve and for the profession of veterinarian to be standardised on a national level, for example by establishing an official standardised CPD programme. Finally, this would improve the state of the animals.
WTG: What do you enjoy most about your work as VETS UNITED project manager?
JCM: What I enjoy most is to use the VETS UNITED online resources during teaching and giving presentations about animal welfare.
I also enjoy working with the team of the Welttierschutzstiftung and my VETS UNITED African colleagues. It is great to share experiences about improving animal welfare in our respective countries. Together, we were able to build capacity to promote animal welfare through the workshops and meetings organised by the Welttierschutzstiftung.