AWOL’s goal has always been to educate and inform rather than to admonish and scold. Most of the wounds we see are caused by ignorance and lack of education rather than cruelty. The West Bank is an extremely poor region and many villagers are uneducated and illiterate. It’s not that they don’t take care of their animals; they just don’t know how. AWOL advises animal owners and strives to educate them and village children in the hope that the next generation will better understand the needs of animals. We provide free replacement horse upholstery and dog collars to replace inappropriate materials used which are often the cause of injury. AWOL does not charge local people for its services; they have no money available and need help themselves.
AWOL needs as much support as possible as the demand for our services far exceeds our resources. By helping the animals of the west bank, AWOL is also helping the owners. Many of these animals are the only way for the family to generate income. Without a fit and capable donkey, the family cannot harvest their sugar cane and are unable to generate income to buy food and clothing.
The rural West Bank is an extremely poor region. The houses are still made of mud and covered with palm branches. There is no sanitation and luxury is an unknown word. It is not surprising that under these circumstances animals often suffer from neglect. There is no money available for veterinary treatments or drugs.
This is why the work of AWOL is so important; there is no other charity on the west bank to help these animals. There is no safety net for them. There is only AWOL; a very small charity working under extremely difficult conditions. We treat thousands of animals every year and there are many more who need our help. Our greatest wish is that one day we will have the funds and resources to treat many more West Bank animals.