Brooke USA Foundation Announced Today the Launch of a National Fundraising Campaign to Help Distressed Donkeys All Over the World


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Comprehensive in scope and with Brooke USA’s mission at the forefront, the campaign  — named “The Donkey Project” — seeks to raise an ambitious $1.5 million by June 30, 2024. Coupled with Brooke USA’s strategic plan, “The Donkey Project” is intended to grow the organization’s depth of work while raising more funds in support of working donkeys and the people who depend on them for survival in vulnerable communities worldwide.

Brooke USA’s Board of Directors has added a laser focus commitment to alleviating the suffering of working donkeys as they believe that their plight is preventable and that good animal welfare protects human livelihoods. For 600 million people in some of the poorest places in the world, 100 million of these animals and other equines are the backbone of communities and their best means of making a living. Without healthy working donkeys, people would not be able to put food on their tables, send their children to school or build better futures for themselves and their families. In sum, donkeys are essential to the livelihoods of people in developing countries.

The Donkey Project” also aims to radically raise the profile of donkeys all over the world. With their latest popularity, thanks to the attention secured by recent movies and documentaries such as EO, The Banshees of Inisherin, Triangle of Sadness and Navalny, many are calling 2023 the year of the donkey with these stoic animals rightfully portrayed as intelligent and calm.  Without a doubt, history was made when a miniature donkey appeared on stage, side by side with Jimmy Kimmel, at the Academy Awards (Oscars) ceremony last March.

Donkeys are now also the focus on a new genetic study published in the journal Science on donkey genomics, led by Ludovic Orlando, Director of the Center for Anthropobiology and Genomics of Toulouse in France. He and researchers from 37 laboratories around the world analyzed the genomes of 207 modern donkeys, living in 31 countries.

“Honestly, it is about time that we recognize the bond between donkeys and humans; this co-dependency dates to the beginning of time when people first started relying on donkeys to help transport heavy loads and continues today in some of the most vulnerable communities worldwide as they serve as an important resource in the daily lives of millions of people throughout the world,” explained Emily Dulin, CEO of Brooke USA. “Despite their newfound fame, donkeys remain in peril and are threatened by the challenging environments in which they live and by their new-found value in the production of ejiao, a gelatin-like substance derived from boiling their hides and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat infertility, poor circulation and lack of potency,” added Dulin.

“The success of this campaign will allow us to invest in programs across the globe and make a lasting impact in the lives of people and animals alike,” said Jim Hamilton, DVM, Chairman of the Board of Brooke USA. The campaign’s focal point is a bold appeal to donors and friends for support of 100,000 donkeys at $15 a year each. “Donors can directly affect the lives of one, 10 or 100 donkeys, it is completely up to them. A campaign of this magnitude is only possible through the loyalty of our donors and friends,” added Hamilton.

“The Donkey Project” is an example of how Brooke USA plans to contribute toward alleviating the suffering of hundreds of millions of people and animals today and tomorrow. Funding from this campaign will allow us to have a significant impact all over the world as we feature inspiring stories of those who depend on these animals every single day. “Donors will be able to monitor our progress online as we add more and more donkeys to ‘The Donkey Project’,” said Kendall Bierer, Donor Relations Officer of Brooke USA. “Every person we know can play an integral part in its success with a gift of any size; we are asking them now to step forward and take ownership of the future of those who need it most,” added Bierer.

To learn more about “The Donkey Project”, all activities planned throughout the year or to make a gift, please visit www.brookeusa.org/the-donkey-project.

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 About Brooke USA Foundation (Brooke USA): The mission of Brooke USA is to significantly improve the health, welfare and productivity of working horses, donkeys and mules and the people who depend on them for survival worldwide. We are committed to sustainable economic development by reducing poverty, increasing food security, ensuring access to water, providing a means to education, and raising basic standards of living through improved equine health and welfare. We accomplish this by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need.

Brooke USA strives to alleviate the suffering and vulnerability of developing communities by funding and implementing programs that improve the quality of life and health of working equines and thereby positively impacting their economic sustainability, protecting the planet, ensuring gender equality, and guaranteeing life on land resilience. We want to see healthy, happy people and equines that work in partnership to achieve sustainable local economies.

For more information, contact:
Emily Dulin
305-505-6170
Emily.Dulin@BrookeUSA.org
Kendall Bierer
561-309-9873
Kendall.Bierer@BrookeUSA.org