Africa – Liberia: LAWCS Win World Rabies Day Award 2016, pet centric, #fightdogmeatAfrica – Liberia: LAWCS Win World Rabies Day Award 2016

Congratulations to our friends at Liberia Animal Welfare and Conservation Society (LAWCS) for winning first prize in the World Rabies Day MSD Award for Sub-Saharan Africa. Many organizations around the world applied for this prestigious award, and it was exciting when LAWCS were shortlisted for Africa. Excitement went through the roof when LAWCS were awarded first place for sub-Saharan Africa, for recognition of outstanding achievements in the field of rabies prevention.

The judging panel included individuals from the CDC, FAO, OIE, WHO, MSD and GARC, and MSD Animal Health.

Fight Dog Meat feel LAWCS lead the world in education against the dog and cat meat trade, and now it’s confirmed LAWCS lead the way in rabies prevention education too. The international award is significant because Liberia does not have animal protection laws, so consequently it is a country with a large dog and cat meat trade, and many local people are vulnerable to falling prey to contracting rabies.

Prior to Morris establishing LAWCS, it was acceptable for local people to treat animals as replaceable objects. Morris found the cruel treatment of animals unacceptable and dedicated his life to teaching people in his own country about animal awareness and ways to make life better for animals in Liberia, which has a flow-on effect in helping families.

Under guidance from Morris, LAWCS volunteers have educated tens of thousands of children about safety around dogs, using the “Be a Tree” program provided by the Canadian company Doggone Crazy.

LAWCS are doing remarkable work, educating children and adults about animal awareness, animal health and safety, and teaching people, young and old, the power of kindness and empathy. LAWCS are also very supportive to women who are often victimized in volatile domestic violence situations.

It is through their kindness and education programs that LAWCS have transcended local teachings and superstitions going back many generations, and broken down barriers relating to disease cross-contamination for viruses, including Ebola and rabies.

Liberia made world news when over 4,000 Liberian people died of Ebola [the number of deaths was probably considerably higher, of people who died without being diagnosed by a medical professional, either too ill to travel to hospital, or who relied on traditional medicine or witch doctors, and were not reported as having died.]

When Ebola hit Liberia, LAWCS swung into action and immediately began providing bleach, soap, buckets and Ebola prevention education to remote communities accessible only by foot and motorbike, where their message was listened to because they are a local Liberian organization.

LAWCS education programs include planting gardens and education on vegan diet and recipes and compassionate humane animal treatment, which is geared to turn people from eating dog and cat meat, toward nutritious vegetable based diets. The organization A Well Fed World has helped Morris and his team provide vegetable meals for people in their education programs and plant large vegetable gardens.

Morris Darbo is a very humble man with a kind heart, and great love of people and animals. He has worked hard to educate over 50,000 people so far, and greatly deserves his award. Congratulations Morris, you really earned this global recognition. We all have a lot to learn from you.

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown,

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