Dr. Marc Daniel was kind enough to write up a synopsis of his experiences with his mission work in Ngonine, Senegal. We are so happy to share his blog with you and we hope you enjoy it! If you would like to donate to the project please go to https://donorsee.com/project/757.
Four years ago I went to Senegal. I was open to whatever God had for me. It seemed like a crazy thing to do…venturing off to Africa not really knowing how I was going to use my veterinary skills. After three more trips, it’s become clear why I went…at least I pray I’m heading in the right direction. My biggest fear has always been that my presence could result in irreparable damage in the Village of Ngonine, inadvertently hurting while trying to help. After all, Dr. Mike has been at this a long time and it’s clear that they need human medical care here AND that his work is advancing the kingdom of God. But a veterinarian? I’ve seen very impactful work by veterinarians all over the world but would it work here? Could I do it?
As the trip approached, the meetings with the local veterinarians fell right into place. Dr.NDjaie organized a basic care clinic for the livestock in Ngonine. Previously, animals would have to travel 15km to receive treatment. The cattle and horses chronically lacked nutrition, parasite control and preventative care. Because of their condition they had been very low performing animals; low energy and stamina for the work, low reproductive rates, poor meat production and low milk yields. It is common knowledge that when the livestock in a community become healthy, the human health condition improves. With healthy livestock, villagers have higher producing animals capable of generating more income and more offspring. The day long clinic we conducted was a huge success and we were able to treat over 80 animals. Most of the veterinary care was provided by Dr. NDjaie with our team only assisting, wrestling animals and purchasing the supplies to have available for treatment.
We tried to return the following year to conduct another clinic but the Ebola outbreak prevented it. We maintained contact with the local vet with hopes that we could maintain the program the next year.
After a long wait, we returned. This time, MIS, our local partner had organized 2 days of veterinary care. Over 150 animals were treated! Villagers came from 10km away with horses and other livestock. What a journey that must have been! It quickly became clear just how desperate the locals are for the care of their animals. Word was spreading that there was good care available for an affordable price. All the same local veterinarians came and we heard testimony from villagers about how the preventative care had improved their animals’ health. Again, my goal was only to shine a light on the need for veterinary care in this village and also help offset some of the cost of the locals providing it. These two days were a tremendous success. The veterinarian discussed with us the need, and his desire, to train locals to be “veterinary agents” to maintain the health of animals between clinic days. Discussions about fees and income generating projects began and I could see something amazing beginning to happen. I was beginning to see that by empowering the local people, there might be a chance at long term high quality veterinary care in some of the most remote areas of Africa that exist. And that this could only be accomplished by God.
So…year four. We just returned from Ngonine and we’re celebrating. Another two days of veterinary care were provided and the local vets seem even more engaged. The veterinarian had provided a written plan to move forward, we have a fundraising project ahead of us and a long term goal to make this a self sustaining project. Ideally, in the future, income generating enterprises will begin in the village. As a result, villagers will be able to regularly provide ideal preventative health care to their livestock. Setting out four years ago, just being obedient to something that felt like a calling from God, I never imagined this outcome. The village chief is behind us, the people see the need and the local professionals are engaged. God is great and with Him all things are possible!