Javascript is not enabled! Please turn on Javascript to use this site.
Giant Impossible Dream

Giant Impossible Dream

Personal message

The story of an extraordinary vision Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa

“Why do I throw my weight behind SA.MAST? Because sterilizing animals literally saves lives. It helps to stop the cycle of neglect and abuse, healing a community in so many ways.”  

So says Nikki Botha, SA.MAST’s animal activist celebrity champion who fully supports the work of Tamsin Nel, founder of the South African Mass Animal Sterilization Trust

Fresh from successful direct action campaigns with Sea Shepherd, as well as against the barbaric animal sacrifice at Gadhimai in Nepal and the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China, Nikki is passionate about bringing effective change to situations where animals suffer, and is not afraid to motivate action and move mountains to inspire others to actively fight for a better society. 

And what she’s asking you to fight for now, is a dream – a dream that Tamsin Nel wakes up with and works for every day. A dream that has built the largest, most focused area specific mass animal sterilization campaign in Africa, if not the world. 

And, as Nikki will be the first to tell you, Tamsin has the right credentials. She is someone who knows about deprivation. Despite growing up in a variety of places of safety and foster homes, she developed a significant sense of right and wrong at a young age. While she found her greatest comfort in her relationship with animals, the only gentle and loving influence in her life, she dreamed of becoming a healer, to make her life purposeful by finding ways to help animals and people. 

But she realised this choice of following her heart was denied to many others. Aware of the dire situation of dogs and cats in Khayelitsha – either sick, diseased and uncared for, scavenging rubbish heaps or tied to posts in perpetual servitude as alarm systems – she also understood the feelings of disempowerment and desensitization within the community. Without significant education intervention or animal population control measures, the attendant neglect, abuse, and health and safety risks – along with the despair and powerlessness of the people – would continue. 

Tamsin’s big dream was to remap the landscape of poverty that held both people and animals in a cycle of deprivation. She felt that dignity could only be restored and empowerment effected through committed compassionate engagement, mass sterilization to reduce the burgeoning animal population, and delivery of concomitant health and humane education. 

And so SA.MAST took flight – and has become a major beacon of animal care, humane education, and health and environmental awareness for the vast community of Cape Town’s Khayelitsha. 

In 2015, the original sterilization clinic was expanded to a fully-fledged animal hospital to cater not only for mass sterilizations but also provide medical care for sick and injured animals. Employing and training an incredible team of 12 people, SA.MAST has treated over 11,000 animals – offering free sterilizations, vaccinations, primary treatments, animal ambulance, and building thousands of kennels for shelterless dogs.

But to truly fulfill Tamsin’s ‘giant, impossible’ dream, SA.MAST needs to complete another 2500 sterilizations to achieve an estimated 90% completion goal in Khayelitsha.

Tamsin believes we are all able to be the example we want to see – and Nikki Botha agrees with her fully when she says, “Ordinary people have angel wings.”

So can you help SA.MAST fly over that finishing line?

Each sterilization costs R350.00.


  • Jul 19, 2016 - USD $ 98.30
  • "Keep up the good work " - genee schock

  • Jul 18, 2016 - USD $ 100.12
  • "You guys do an amazing job!!!" - Tash

  • Jul 12, 2016 - R 350.00
  • "Thank you!" - Inspired!

  • Jul 11, 2016 - R 100.00
  • "I do have a debit order, but just something extra as a Birthday present for Tamsin :)" - Isabelle Brettenny

  • Jul 11, 2016 - R 700.00
  • "I so admire you for getting on and doing what some of us only dream of. Happy birthday Tamsin." - Di

  • Jul 11, 2016 - R 350.00
  • "Happy Birthday - you are a modern day warrior, Tamsin. Following your passion for animals who are in dire need - we applaud your courage and bravery!" - Trish

  • Jul 11, 2016 - R 350.00
  • "you are an inspiration Tamsin" - sue rymer

  • Jul 11, 2016 - R 500.00
  • "Happy Birthday and to my friend Lizette who wants me to donate to your organisation in lieu of a birthday present" - Lizette Moskovitz

  • Jul 08, 2016 - USD $ 33.90
  • "Amazing work! and an example to us all!" - Hobday Equestrian Enterprises

  • Jul 08, 2016 - R 500.00
  • "Happy Birthday to a courageous modern day saint. You are an inspiration and example to all Tamsin. " - Moira Evans

  • Jul 08, 2016 - R 350.00
  • "Happy birthday Tamsin, the world needs more people like you." - Michael Mons

  • Jul 08, 2016 - R 1 000.00
  • "Happy 40th Birthday. Your 110% commitment to your work is to be admired." - Hound Sleeper

  • Jul 08, 2016 - R 250.00
  • "An Inspiration. Thank you!" - Margi Joubert

  • Jul 08, 2016 - R 2 100.00
  • "You are an ANGEL doing what we mere mortals should be doing! Happy Birthday, Tamsin" - Garth

  • Jul 08, 2016 - R 50.00
  • "WOW! What an incredible story!" - Anon

  • Jul 08, 2016 - R 350.00
  • "Happy birthday Tamsin... I take my hat off to you. " - Paul Marincowitz

  • Jul 08, 2016 - R 500.00
  • "Happy Birthday Tamsin ! Thank you for the grat work you are doing !" - Grete Stegmann

  • Jul 08, 2016 - R 250.00
  • "Thank you all for the wonderful work you do!" - Anonymous

  • Jul 08, 2016 - R 350.00
  • "Keep up the amazing work! " - Max&Cally; Kraft

  • Jul 08, 2016 - R 1 000.00
  • "happy birthday tamsin!thank you for everything you do!" - tal

  • Jul 08, 2016 - R 200.00
  • "Thanks for doing the work that we should all be doing!" - Eric and Fran Pocock

  • Jul 08, 2016 - R 50.00
  • "You're doing an amazing job." - Brigid Brien

  • Jul 08, 2016 - USD $ 199.44
  • "You are all Heros don't give up " - Michelle carter

  • Jul 08, 2016 - USD $ 12.94
  • "Brilliant initiative, good luck!" - Tracey Stanton

Donate to this charity


Donations to date

R 15 767.85

Fundraising target

R 700 000.00

SA.MASS Animal Sterilisation Trust

SA.MASS Animal Sterilisation Trust Logo

SA Mass Animal Sterilisation Trust


Our mission is to assist Khayelitsha, the second largest and fastest growing township in South Africa, with its urban renewal and rehabilitation.

We are achieving our mandate by addressing the causes and consequences of the over-population of diseased, stray, neglected, abused or dangerous domestic animals in Khayelitsha, via the implementation of a free, consistent, focused and goal driven mass animal sterilisation, primary treatment and education campaign.

This, along with the provision of an animal ambulance and hospital where it is most needed, is our contribution to the development and well-being of our rainbow nation.

SA MAST is audited annually, a registered Non-Profit Trust and Public Benefit Organisation. The latter allows us to issue Section 18A Tax Deductible Donation Certificates.

SA MAST is a CERTIFIED Level 4 B-BBEE Contributor. Donors and sponsors receive 100% recognition on their score card claim.