July 2019 News from FAF
Dear loyal FAF friends,
I am getting back to you to let you know about the activities of our Flying Anvil Foundation.
Work is not lacking, the world is moving in sometimes difficult directions, politics create a lot of tension, climate change makes working very difficult for both men and animals.
-Our Pilot Project, our school in India: this year marked our 7th year of teaching. We have trained more than 80 farriers to date. They continue to spread the word by transmitting their know-how to other young people and by presenting a way of working, a kind of rigorous attention to detail and finish previously unknown. Some of our alumni have made remarkable progress and are already embarking on very promising careers.
In a spirit of our original objective which was to empower local stake holders, we actively participated in the creation of a new Foundation, the EFF (Equine Farriery Foundation) based in Bombay . In the coming years, EFF will be responsible for the promotion of farriery in India and will take on the administrative responsibility of our school.
-On behalf of the FAF, I had a chance to join a project of an American NGO operating in Peru. It is a group of veterinarians who spend 15 days a year there treating donkeys, mules and criollos on the Altiplano. I was able to rub shoulders with more than 800 equines who almost all had hooves requiring better care. Unfortunately I could only take care of a few dozen of them. This NGO does a very one-off job – in my opinion – thereby not contributing significantly to the daily lives of these animals. This situation could be the subject of a magnificent project, but would require long-term allocation of resources. Most of the animals I met work as pack-horses, carrying the luggage of hikers.
Indeed, these animals are rented by tour operators, travel agencies who do not care about the working conditions of these animals and men. The hikers themselves appear completely unaware of how their luggage is transported.My project, as I conceive it, should include a training component for young farriers.Then, we should create what I would call « Ride in », i.e. create a small dispensary on major trekking routes. These dispensaries would be staffed by a young veterinarian and a young farrier. The animals would be inspected, there would be a control of the loads: these are often excessive; I saw wounds created by pack saddles and badly adjusted saddles, of bad quality. Also of paramount importance, a control of the condition of the animal (many suffer from malnutrition) as well as a control of the shoeing (often very neglected).
The shoes could be renewed on site, dental care and injuries could be managed by the veterinarian. Each animal could be equipped with an electronic chip to store treatment information, vaccines, shoeing, etc.
The owners could be trained in the field of care, nutrition and trimming or shoeing; thus trained, they could benefit from a “quality label”. Finally, only these owners would be allowed to work for the tourism industry.
This project would require more enquiry and collaboration with the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism, Veterinary Services, local authorities, tour operators and even major travel agencies worldwide. This project would require funds to cover the construction of 2 to 4 clinics on the main trekking routes leading to Machu Picchu and other destinations and for the training of actors in the field.
Today thousands of equines are exploited for the well being of tourists, without them being notified of the situation. My proposal is certainly an exciting project and oh so necessary, and valid!
However, FAF cannot manage all this alone and the American NGO has been unable to integrate in its vision a philosophy of training people on the spot, or involving them in the project from the beginning. Thus, they have been incapable of providing them with the tools and know-how to manage the situation in a sustainable development perspective.
My project idea is currently on standby for FAF, it would require a lot of personal investment, time and resources, as well as logistical support and funds to carry it out. A FAF partnership with a larger NGO or a Foundation would be possible paths to carry out this project and to achieve it successfully in the medium and long-term.
-Lesotho Project: This project was terminated because our 3 years of effort were not sufficient to empower our students and our partners. A lack of entrepreneurship and independence brings us to the obvious conclusion that we are not providing farriery training but mainly business management. In these conditions, it is useless to continue our action because practically and pedagogically we do not see any results. A regrettable conclusion.
-This summer I shall represent FAF visiting farriers in Iran. Our Iranian colleagues suffer from total isolation due to a deteriorated political context. Continuing education is a good way to give the Iranian farriers a little hope and courage by providing new information and ideas; current knowledge is sorely lacking. Iran is a beautiful country, one of the cradles of the Arabian horse breed.
A request has been made to help equidae in Egypt. An Italian veterinarian we know is heading a courageous mission that currently requires the support of competence in farriery. FAF is studying the possibility of helping these equids located in rural areas. We will keep you informed of these new initiatives in a future mail
Your help is always welcome, your support allows us to provide training in places and with people who do not care much. Through our educational initiatives, we show an interest, a recognition for them, as well as their animals who work tirelessly for very small incomes. Your loyalty is precious to us and our results are also yours.
For your Donations :
Bank : UBS route de St.Julien 114 1228 Plan les Ouates Genève Switzerland Pour : Flying Anvil Fondation Clearing: N° 240 Compte : N° 00197734
IBAN: CH30 0024 0240 1977 3401 R BIC : WCHZH80A