Sanjay Gnanaeswaran

Supervisor

Malaysia, APEC

Environment

Fur babies Rescue and Foodbank

Main aim of the charity

The charitable cause aimed to aid stray animals such as dogs and cats that were affected by the recent flood in Malaysia, caused by heavy rainfall. The project involved accepting donations which were in turn used to purchase food and medical supplies to support and assist the affected animals. The supplies were distributed to the animals with the help of volunteers who were driving around the affected areas in search for victims. Some donations were used to fund veterinary fees for animals that required professional medical care.

How the employee got involved and why

On the 17th of December 2021, Malaysia saw heavy and consistent rainfall that resulted in extreme flooding across the country. The flood, which was said to be the worst in the past 50 years, affected thousands of houses and people. Victims were evacuated into temporary shelters and were provided with food and warm clothing. Selangor, which is where I am from, was affected most out of all states with over 18,000 victims transported to safety. I had no doubt in my mind at that point that I had to help these victims. NGOs had provided us volunteers with many essentials to distribute to the victims including food, pillows, clothes and sanitary products. As I volunteered, a thought struck my head: what about all those other victims who don't have a voice? What about those stray animals who don't have any place to go or anyone who cares for them? The flood has left many homeless—but what about those homeless animals? They need our help too! After helping the human victims, I quickly went home to set up a social media campaign to accept donations and find volunteers who would work alongside myself to help stray animals. The social media campaign became an instant success as it managed to increase awareness of the situation and collect RM3500.00 in donations in just 1 week. I started this project on my own, but it soon became clear that I needed more help. Luckily, my friends, family, strangers, and DHL came together to make this possible. The project ended up receiving support from 15 volunteers from all over the state. The donations and applications for volunteering helped immensely as it allowed us to scale up our project larger than predicted. We began by visiting affected animal shelters and donating food and medical supplies. We also stopped by whenever we saw stranded animals and gave them food and medical care if necessary. Some animals were badly injured and were taken to a vet to ensure they were well cared for. It was exhausting work—we spent our days running around and driving everywhere—but knowing how many animals we were able to feed and medicate made it worth it. Over 120 dogs and cats were fed and medicated, thanks to the hard work of our team.

What work does the employee do for charity

The reason I began this campaign was simple: We cared so much for humans, but that care seldom extended towards our fellow animals that co-exist alongside us. I realised that we needed to do more for these animals when I saw how many animals were affected by the flood. This project became an eye-opener for me. It made me realise that I want to open my own animal shelter to provide a safe and healthy home for stray animals in the future. There are many stray animals currently that have no shelter or resources such as food. It is important that we extend our concern for living beings towards animals as well.

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