FundaNenja blogThrough weekly dog training sessions, Funda Nenja is making a difference to the lives and futures of over 100 children and their much-loved dogs.

In isiZulu, ‘Funda Nenja’ means ‘learning with a dog’ and it’s the ethos behind the unique Funda Nenja project.  Thanks to the support of generous donors and MySchool supporters, the extraordinary teaching programme uses weekly dog training sessions to help uplift the lives of over 100 children and their much loved dogs.

Funda Nenja’s aim is to develop caring, responsible and employable young adults.  From this group of 100 children, a dedicated group is elected to a demonstration team that’s supervised by senior trainers and a training manager. This demo team visits local schools and events and in June, the team was invited to showcase its talents at the Royal Show in Pietermaritzburg.

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Many of these children have never had the opportunity to visit such events, and as project co-ordinator Sandra Naidoo explains, many kids have had the opportunity to travel and encounter new experiences.  As well as training, Funda Nenja uses its funds to provide access to a social worker, who assesses and refers them for material, cognitive and health issues, while counselling and help with grant access is provided.

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The community of Mpophomeni is also able to bring their animals to the Funda Nenja training site, where assistance is provided for the sterilisation of animals, de-worming and other veterinary services. In support of animal welfare and environmental issues, lessons are gently integrated into the programme, with an EWT talk on discouraging the poaching of wildlife with dogs.