Where there is love...
- By: Nicola Ramos
- Short URL: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/helene-strydom
My name is Nicola Ramos (42) and I live in Somerset West. I met Helene whilst volunteering at our local AWS 20 years ago.
I used to spend my off days giving the kennel dogs some attention and Helene came to take photos of them for the welfare's new Facebook page. She takes the most amazing photos and can capture the viewer's attention which is often the first step of the adoption procedure - her pics are not just of another dog behind bars, they show the dogs character and how much love they have to give!
We are 2 different personalities and live different lifestyles but our love for dogs and dedication to helping as many township dogs live better lives keeps our friendship strong.
Helene (44) lives in a container home in Botriver with 15 rescue dogs.
She spends every day driving around the township, loading up dogs in her car who are ill with distemper, broken legs, burn wounds, etc and taking them to the vet for treatment.
The closest vet is 25km away and many people do not have transport or funds which means without Helene's help the dogs die a slow and painful death.
She also organises a sterilisation day at the community hall every month whereby 30 dogs get sterilised at a time which is the only way to stop the breeding cycle and prevent more dogs from a life of neglect and cruelty.
Helene is a passionate and dedicated animal rights activist who has given her life to the welfare of animals in the poor communities of Grabouw and Botriver in the Western Cape.
Helene founded RAD 5 years ago which is an organisation that rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes township dogs. She operates alone with the help of a few volunteers and receives no government funding and relies solely on public donations to support her endeavours.
She has recently opened 2 charity shops which are run by volunteers 3 days a week in each community whereby all proceeds go towards the vet bills of the animals she helps.
Helene requires a salary that can sustain her as she does all of this at the cost of her safety and comfort. She deserves assistance for her courage and dedication for going in to areas many are too scared to drive through all to help an animal in distress.
Where your donation will go:
If we can raise at least R1 million, it would be invested to give Helene a monthly income. Part of it would be used to cover urgent vet bills, but most of it will be to create a fund for a monthly salary for Helene.
Helene doesn't receive a salary. She currently receives ad hoc donations which go toward the vet bills and operating expenses and I would like for her to have a monthly salary to enable her to continue this charity work. If there is no money for petrol or vet bills it means that she can't get into the township and drive the animals to the vet for treatment.
The monthly salary will enable Helene to continue helping township animals and their owners, and preventing more animal abuse, and uncontrolled dog populations, which contribute to even more poverty for the owners. The salary will enable Helene to continue with this valuable service.
*Funds raised will go directly to RAD*