mardi 23 décembre 2008

Témoignage d'un couple d'Anglais après leur visite à SOS Animaux / Report by a British couple after their visit to SOS Animaux

Un couple de Britanniques venu séjourner en septembre à Hammamet s'était ému de voir une jeune chatte errante en mauvaise santé dans un quartier touristique de Hammamet. Ayant découvert le site de SOS Animaux, ils avaient pris contact et souhaitaient revenir sur les lieux de leur séjour, espérant pouvoir retrouver la chatte et l'amener au siège de l'association... sans trop d'espoir de la retrouver ; c'est ce qui s'est passé. Ils sont néanmoins venus au siège, ont fait connaissance et discuté avec la présidente et d'autres personnes présentes, ont vu les animaux recueillis (chiens et chats) et sont repartis décidés à aider dans la mesure de leurs moyens et entre autres en faisant connaître l'association dans leur pays. Je publie ci-dessous leur compte rendu en anglais.
A British couple staying in Hammamet last September was moved at the sight of a young stray cat, then discovered SOS Animaux through its site and got in touch with the association. They wished to come again to Hammamet, with little hope to find the cat (which was the case) and came to meet the President of the association, Dr. Raoudha and some of the members. After returning to England, they wrote a report that I publish below.

SOS Animaux, Nabeul, Tunisia
Visit on Tuesday, 2nd December, 2008.
SOS Animaux is a small building in the middle of nowhere! In fact, it’s on the road between Nabeul and Tunis, and other buildings are scattered here and there. In England, we’d say “blink and you’ll miss it”. The place acts as a clinic, hospital and temporary home for animals awaiting adoption.
When I first found the organisation on the internet, it was purely by chance: I happened to find the website for the World Veterinary Association, and found SOS Animaux Tunisie under “new applications for membership.”
We met the founder of the organisation, Dr Vét, Raoudha Mansour, who was very informative. It was obvious to us that, far from being negative, she has a lot of drive and determination.
In her office there was a tiny kitten, who we were told had been rejected by her mother. Despite this rejection, she was quite happy to snuggle into Bob’s arms, my arms, or Dr Raoudha’s overall!
The clinic has no landline telephone at the moment, nor internet, so communication other than personal visits has to be via Dr Mansour’s mobile telephone. Which, as we all know in England, can have a very big impact on social communication, let alone a business!
She has several volunteers helping at the clinic. There are also two ladies off-site who deal with the administration on a part-time basis, due to other work commitments. One of them, Hayet, is a professional bi-linguist by trade, and is the main communicator outside Tunisia. She has produced a blog, which can be entered on:
The main website, though, is at:-
As Dr Raoudha pointed out during our visit, and as we’d also seen for ourselves, there are a lot of Tunisian people who do care about animals, both as pets and as working animals. However, a lot still needs to be done around the country, awareness-wise. SOS are trying to raise awareness of animals’ needs, and whilst their visits to local schools appears to be successful in educating the children, educating adults appears to be more difficult. Neglect seems to be borne out of ignorance, rather than deliberate maltreatment.
It is an Arab country, and as such has a different view on animals than perhaps the western world.
Needless to say, funds are the most-needed aspect at the moment.
Apart from some contributions, they are trying to bring in whatever funds they can, e.g. there was a semi-full clothes rail in Reception, which on occasions is used at an open day for second-hand clothes sales.
We were also shown rough financial details of a soiree they’d organised for that very evening, showing incomings and outgoings. This showed that the profit made was minimal, and this was a typical case.
By way of raising public awareness of the organisation, Dr Vet mentioned that inviting a “celebrity” of some sort might draw people to SOS Animaux. Tunisian? Or international? Would it interfere with politics or religion? I’ve briefly looked on Google to try and find celebs who are interested in animal welfare – and found many – would they venture to Tunisia?
Dr Vet mentioned the frustration of not being able to go out and retrieve animals in distress, due to the lack of bodies – and vehicles – at SOS. We have first-hand experience of this, as on our first visit two months ago, we found a solitary, desperately lonely kitten in Jasmine Hammamet and, when we’d returned home and found SOS on the internet, we were told that they weren’t able to do retrievals. The other organisations contacted were unable to help with this, too. So even now, we don’t know what happened to the little cat we found, even though we went back to try and find her.
We have a local lady here in North Devon, called Diana Lewis. A few years ago, she founded the “North Devon Animal Ambulance”, using her first name as an acronym for: Distressed, Injured And Needy Animals. I took a newspaper feature of Diana over to SOS, and Diana seemed to provide inspiration for Dr Vet.
It appears that, quite often, tourists say that when they get home they’ll do this and do that, etc., to help, but they never get heard from again. Although Dr Raoudha was very tactful and diplomatic about this, we could tell that it was very frustrating for her and the staff of SOS Animaux.
We’d brought over various small supplies from Barnstaple, so at SOS we left some food there, albeit a small fraction of what they’d use. We also left “allergy pet wipes”, ordinary wet wipes, worming drops and, er, “scented poo bags”! I will be making enquiries as to cost of sending food over there, if possible.
We said we’d arrange to send a monthly contribution, which we’ve yet to organise. But we will.
We were given a 2009 calendar, also two pens, which are really nice!
In the Reception area, there is a cat pen in the form of a window display, holding cats that are awaiting adoption. The holding area gives the cats stimulation and a cosy area alike; you can see this on the blog, under “cats for adoption”, and the entry for jeudi 17 juillet 2008, entitled “Les Freres Amis”. There were a fair few cats in there, one or two with medical problems. It was evident, though, that they were quite content.
We went outside the building, to see the dogs awaiting adoption. They included Toufu, who appears on the blog; she was to go to her new home the following day. Needless to say, the dogs were very noisy! Just like at our local Dogs’ Trust, in West Down, Ilfracombe. They were lovely animals, very friendly. There were also a few animals there with injuries that probably need surgery; it would be encouraging if authorities could fund this.
Back inside, we were shown a room where there was a very old cat, who was munching happily and wasn’t that bothered that we were there.
It’s obvious that SOS care very much about the animals in their care, which restores faith in human nature – especially in a country generally not renowned for affection towards animals.
After an hour and a quarter, it was time to leave. Even then, there was a customer in the consulting room, and another in Reception, so whether or not Dr Vet got to have lunch, we don’t know!
Bob and Glenys Laird
19th December, 2008

2 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

Je ne peux que vous féliciter pour ce que vous faîtes et vous encourager à aller de l'avant.

Ce blog, dont j'apprécie particulièrement le contenu, est à mon avis encore méconnu des internautes et des bloggeurs en Tunisie.

Je vous propose de vous inscrire à ces deux annuaires de blogs tunisiens afin de permettre à un plus grand nombre de personnes de prendre connaissance de vos activités et éventuellement de soutenir vos actions :

Encore une fois, bravo pour ce que vous faîtes.

Hayet a dit…

Merci de votre attention et de vos compliments.
pour tn-blogs, je l'avais fait fin août, mais pour tniblogs, pas encore !

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