Donkeys 4 development….4 real?

Eliot Chisango: Donkeys 4 Development is collaborating with locals in Limpopo to create jobs and clean up the environment

On 21 June 2017, Beautiful News (www.beautifulnews.co.za) will reveal the short film of Eliot Chisango from the Donkeys 4 Development project in Limpopo, who is collaborating with locals and their mules to create jobs and clean up the environment.

Chisango didn’t come to South Africa to make a better life for himself. He came to enrich the lives of others. Having arrived in Limpopo after completing his studies in Zimbabwe, the environmentalist aimed to develop conservation projects that would build community. He picked up a job with the P.E.A.C.E. foundation, which specialises in community upliftment, and began to investigate the rural area where he was stationed to determine the best way of helping its people to help themselves.

He soon learnt that the community was already dependent on donkeys for transportation. Although donkeys are often mistreated in other parts of the world, Chisango was inspired by the hard-working mules, and decided to design a project around them rather than against them. The obvious environmental concern for the area was pollution and the donkeys provided the answer. Chisango set up a buy-back recycling centre and offered the community the opportunity to earn money by collecting waste from the area and delivering it to a landfill. This was the founding premise of his Donkeys 4 Development project, which provides people with carts to be pulled by their hard-working donkeys.

Chisango has enforced the message that all animals should be cared for properly and to highlight the on-going plight of the gentle donkey, the community has heeded the call with each owner undergoing training and allowing the animals to be monitored.

By teaching people to better use the resources at their disposal, Chisango has empowered people to manage waste and earn a living from recycling while curbing pollution.

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About Beautiful News

Beautiful News unfolds the untold stories and generates positive conversations about South Africa, showcasing the extra-ordinary yet ordinary South Africans, their humanity, their ideas and their stories while celebrating the spirit and community of the South African people in an authentic way.

The multimedia platform is founded by photographer and filmmaker Adrian Steirn who was the visionary of the 21 Icons project that profiled the extraordinary men and women who led South Africa’s journey to democracy and helped to unite its communities. The experience of creating that project made it clear that South Africa has an abundance of people whose untold stories are worthy of celebration.

Through Beautiful News, Ginkgo, the agency behind the project and 21 Icons South Africa, continues to celebrate Mandela’s spirit by generating positive conversations about people who show generosity and kindness towards their neighbours, symbolise triumph over adversity or provide inspiration within their communities. The timeslot (4.14pm) recognises the moment Nelson Mandela was released from prison on 11 February 1990.