November 2016: At the time we met Kilasi for the first time he was a college student and participant of one of our VETS UNITED Animal Welfare and Health workshops in Arusha/Tanzania. Since then a lot happened: Kilasi finished his studies successfully and is now working as a junior lecturer at his college. Let us tell you the exemplary success story of an animal lover.
Kilasi is part of the ethnic group of the Massai, an initially nomadic living tribe. The word Massai means “Human with Cattle“ and explains well the daily life of their members: In fact, it is their centre of life to take care of their cattle, which provides them with almost everything they need.
Accordingly, Kilasi grew up with a big amount of animals. “As a kid, I had the typical life of a massai boy. My family had 200 cattle and 20 donkeys. Most days I went out with the animals in the morning and came back to the village in the evening. “
But Kilasi – other than many other children of his tribe – had the chance to do different: Thanks to a government scholarship he went to school and built the basis for his career at the college.
"The health of animals was always very important to me"
Regarding his motivation to study livestock farming and animal health at the Tengeru College he says: “I grew up with animals and I saw, that we are doing not enough for them. My career goal was always to commit myself to the protection of the animals and their health. Due to my own experience I know how important it is that the animals are fine, also for us humans. “
Our VETS UNITED programme Manager Dr. Ruprecht Herbst already noticed Kilasi’s dedication and passion when he first met him at the »VETS UNITED workshop “He is an outstanding student with a lot of good knowledge concerning animal welfare and animal health.“ Nowadays, after his successful graduation, Kilasi is fulfilling his dream: Since September 2016 he is teaching the basics of animal health at Tengeru College.
Kilasi explains: “I applied for a position as lecturer at the college because I absolutely wanted to teach and pass on my knowledge to as much as possible people. “The additional qualification of the VETS UNITED course supported my application and made it possible that I can teach here now. “
He completes his lectures in the study room by practical hands-on-exercises. “I am now implementing all the practical tutorials which I learned in the VETS UNITED programme with my students. The theory and the practice are very different and a lot of students didn´t grow up with animals. So this is the best way for them to lose their fear of contact.”
In addition, Kilasi is an independent consultat for animal welfare and animal health
He takes care of the animals’ health and gives useful advice to their owners concerning the appropriate care and husbandry.
Especially while working in the Massai villages around Arusha, language is a big barrier for a lot of his colleagues. Only the “modern” Massai are speaking the national language Swahili or even English. Because of his own background Kilasi can sensitise the animal owners in their own language and can tell them about the importance of the wellbeing and health of their animals. He can also explain the need of the different veterinary treatments and can show them what they can do themselves to take care of the health of their animals.
Soon there will be an evaluation and other teachers of the college will assess Kilasi’s course. We are keeping our fingers crossed for him and congratulate him for his ongoing will to change the lives of million animals in his country!