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Township Dog Training Initiative

Funda Nenja is an NGO in Mpophomeni (outside Howick, KZN) that brings together 70 disadvantaged children and their dogs for training, every Friday after school, where they learn how to care for their animals.

This remarkable project consists entirely of volunteers and has been in existence since 2009. As Yvonne Spain, one of the volunteers explains: 
It is heart-warming to see so many children having fun while bonding with their pets, learning about responsible pet ownership, dog training skills, leadership and team building.”

The dogs receive love, medical attention, vaccinations and sterilisations thanks to the local SPCA. The project has a visible positive impact on both the children and the dogs – which is evident at the numerous demonstrations given by Team Funda Nenja at events in and around KZN.
What makes this project unique is that by working with children and their dogs, it is possible to encourage the values of compassion and respect that go beyond the training ground and demo ring, into their families and communities. By teaching children how to love and care for their animals, the cycle of animal abuse is slowly being changed.

Research: Ms Drummond, a Psychology Hons student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg in 2013, conducted research on the psycho-social impact of Funda Nenja on a sample of the children attending the program. She found that Funda Nenja had a positive impact on the children’s lives. Read her research here.
FNB gave this project a Moment of Delight for allowing children to bond with their dogs and ultimately pass important values on to their own families & communities.
If you want to read more about the wonderful work of this amazing program have a look at their newsletters