Helen Nelson, Moroccan Product Manager here at Ramblers Worldwide Holidays, visits SPANA (Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad). Helen leads a staff managed venture called Heart & Sole, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries they visit on their holidays and SPANA, particularly the Marrakech and Atlas Foothills operation, is one of the charities they support.
SPANA is an international animal welfare charity that aims to improve the lives of working animals around the world. The centre in Marrakech offers free of charge medical assistance and hospital care to working animals such as donkeys and horses; offers a re-homing service for stray cats and dogs, and vet care for pets. They have a mobile vet service that visits the villages in the Atlas foothills, and they also offer an education centre that teaches children and owners respect and compassion for animals and the environment
SPANA Marrakech is also responsible for the health and well being of the many caleche horses in the city. If you have visited Marrakech you will see the horse and carriages offering rides to tourists. Look down at their hooves and you will see a SPANA tag which means the horse and caleche have been checked and both are fit to work. SPANA has also invested in water troughs around the city for the many horses to use.
It was lovely to meet the staff at the Marrakech centre and see how dedicated they are to the animals, with some vets from overseas volunteering their time. The cat and dog adoption area was a surprise, I didn’t realise they did that, and I also got to meet a horse being prepped for an operation – and all were in good care of the dedicated team led by Dr Boubker.
SPANA relies on financial donations in order to carry out their work and Heart & Sole is proud to be able to offer support. Animals are relied on in Morocco in many ways – to carry supplies, people, and work in the fields and many of our clients ask us about their welfare. Having visited SPANA in Marrakech, I saw firsthand the great work they are doing and it made me very pleased that Heart & Sole can help support their cause. You can read more about SPANA’s work at www.spana.org