The Knysna Oyster Festival’s Flavours of Knysna and the Brenton Ratepayers Association used this year’s Mandela Day to build kennels, sew dog blankets, and raise money for neutering a number dogs in Knysna’s underprivileged suburbs.
The results will be delivered to the recipients via the social enterprise, Emzini Tours, and its Lukhahyiso Safe House.
“Most of the Festival events nominate charities as beneficiaries of their fund-raising efforts,” said Flavours of Knysna organiser, Picca de Bruin. “We chose to support Lukhahyiso, which is run by Penny Mainwaring, because of the wonderful work they do for the animals in Knysna’s townships.
“It struck me that there must be a way to reuse the Festival’s waterproof posters, rather than just discard them, and that’s how I came up with the idea of using them as sidings for kennels.”
Ms. de Bruin said that the Brenton Ratepayers Association took to the idea enthusiastically.
“The build took place at the Brenton-on-Sea community hall last Thursday and Friday, and more than fifty people came along to make the kennels, and sew the blankets. This included members of the Ratepayers Association, residents of Brenton and Belvidere, individuals from other parts of Knysna, and teams from Allsound Security, Brenton Haven, and Brenton-on-Sea Chalets,” she said.
“People arrived with their tools and sewing machines, over-lockers and fabric, as well as timber and other materials, and Allsound Security, Susan Campbell, Peter Myers, E4 Electrical, Knysna Roofing, and Handyman André donated large quantities of wood for the frames, while Lancewood sent palettes that we used for the bases of the kennels.
“The Knysna Municipality provided the venue at no cost, and also sent a large truck that delivered all the kennels to Frame by Frame, which is the collection point for donations for Emzini’s projects.
“But many others helped us, too – including Nautical South Restaurant, which made soup for the volunteers, and others who made themselves useful in many different ways.
“The gees at the hall both on Mandela Day and on the day afterwards was awesome, and I couldn’t help thinking of Alf Khumalo’s famous photo of Nelson Mandela himself getting a hug from his dog, Khrushchev, which was taken sometime in 1956 during the Treason Trial,” ,” said Ms. de Bruin.
The final tally: 29 kennels built, more than 70 cushions sewn, and sufficient funds raised to spay six dogs. “This money came from individuals who were unable to attend the work sessions, but who wanted to make personal contributions nevertheless,” said Ms. de Bruin.
EMZINI TOWNSHIP TOURS
Emzini Township Tours spends many hours in the Knysna Township helping people with their cats, dogs, chickens, pigs, and even cows. It holds monthly clinics for local pet owners with the help of the Knysna Veterinary Clinic (knysnavet.com), and it tries wherever it can to help by providing kennels or other shelters, blankets, food, and bowls – while also educating local children (and adults) about how to better look after their animals.
More information: emzinitours.co.za