East Lothian charity conference inspires big donation to help animals in Ukraine

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Thousands of stray and homeless animals in Ukraine have been helped after an activist’s speech at a Scottish conference moved a charity boss to donate £25,000.

Humane education charity Fostering Compassion, based in Ormiston, East Lothian, held its two day conference last October and included campaigner Zhenya Dove.

A speech by Edinburgh-based campaigner, Zhenya Dove  inspired the £25,000 donation.A speech by Edinburgh-based campaigner, Zhenya Dove  inspired the £25,000 donation.
A speech by Edinburgh-based campaigner, Zhenya Dove inspired the £25,000 donation.

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Also on the speakers list was Mike Arms, president of the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Santa Fe, California, who was inspired by Zhenya’s speech to hand over the donation to help animals in the war-stricken country.

Now the charity is looking to help young people and children who have moved to East Lothian by organising a workshop with them to provide support.

Zhenya, who is from Ukraine and lives in Edinburgh, revealed the work which has been carried out to date using the generous donation given by Mike at the conference.

She said more than  2000 units of medicines, flea and tick treatments and vaccines had been provided to shelters with 193 animal neutered and renovations carried out at one shelter for cats in the Kharkiv region which badly needed work.

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The House of Hope shelter in Gusyna Polyana has had floors replaced, walls covered and new housing for its 115 cats built.

Shelters in the Mykolaiv region have received heaters, firewood, insulated bags for small dogs and cats and in the Khersonregion two tones of coal have been delivered to  shelters.

Updating the charity on the work carried out with the funding Zhenya said: “It has made a tremendous difference in the lives of countless animals.”

The Compassion Always conference, which marked Fostering Compassion’s tenth anniversary brought together an international guest list of people.

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Fostering Compassion which was set up in 2013 by Tranent woman Lesley Winton runs workshops at its Ormistonbase and in schools to help children and young people tap into their empathy and emotions by talking about the experiences of rescue animals and relating it to how they feel.

The work has proved extremely successful in helping children identified as struggling with behaviour or emotional issues.

Lesley who was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to animal welfare, said the donation was announced at the end of the conference by Mr Arms, taking Zhenyaby surprise.

She said: “We were all absolutely delighted the conference led to such an amazing donation which has made such a difference to animals in Ukraine.”

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Fostering Compassion wants to offer a workshop to children and young people from Ukraine who are living in East Lothian and is looking for families who want to get involved to get in touch.

Anyone who wants to get involved can contact the charity via their website https://www.fosteringcompassion.org/ or email [email protected]

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