MEGA PROJECT BLOG 1

Hafsa Malik
10 min readSep 18, 2021

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🐾THE STRAY CARE PROJECT🐾

ฅฅLet’s Care for Tiny Paws……Give Flight to tiny Soulsʚɞ

We’re all trapped in our own tiny bubbles, where our lives revolve only around the people we meet, the work we do, and ourselves. We never think twice about little creatures, such as dogs, kittens, or that little bird wiggling its legs on a wire. It has become a part of our every day, something we no longer pay attention to. A quiet whine or yelp of a dog or a piercing cry of a cat may capture our attention at times, but we quickly get distracted and forget about it. Has it ever occurred to you that, that dog or cat may have needed us? Perhaps their cries were a helpless cry for our help. The dog you lost, the cat who was badly hurt, or the bird that was dangling from a wire because it inadvertently walked on a live wire.

The topic might be alluding to Altruism. Aside from that, there are several additional reasons. One of them is the disease spread. Recent incidents of animal abuse and culling to prevent rabies are evidence of this. The disease is deadly to both people and the animals that carry it. Animals infected with the virus become aggressive and bite without provocation. Rescuing and vaccinating these animals reduces the likelihood of infected animals causing harm to other humans, as well as the potential carrier population. The animals receive home and someone to care for them; it’s a win-win situation for all sides, and it avoids the need for drastic actions such as terminating them.

Dogs lie lifeless after authorities culled them in Karachi’s Saddar area. ─ Photo by Syeda Rabab Jaffer/File https://www.dawn.com/news/1606077

Millions of animals are tormented and confined in deplorable circumstances in Pakistan, while those deemed useless are ruthlessly slaughtered without a second thought. Our zoos operate in sordid circumstances. Animals taken from other countries are entirely neglected, mistreated, and isolated. Many animals died as a result of hunger and thirst during the lockdown. In one of my previous blogs, I discussed how the Pakistani government had announced plans to kill 25,000 stray canines over the span of 60 days. It has been on the news and social media so many times, yet, this problem didn’t receive the highlight it should have. “Karachi and Lahore have the highest rate of dog killings each year with over 20,000 dogs killed in these two cities alone” This was the first thing I saw one morning while scrolling on my Instagram. It caught my interest and what I saw shook me. Every year about 50,000 stray dogs were being culled in Karachi, according to a source. A report dated March 30, 2021, reported that about 25,000 dogs were expected to be killed in the next few weeks. The reason was the overpopulation of stray dogs and the cases of rabies that had increased over the past. But was this a reason enough to resort to killing animals? Maybe. Well, No. There is always a choice and a better option. Dog bite cases in the province have increased steadily over time, resulting in immeasurable human suffering and increasing hostility towards the poor animal in society. However, the provincial government does not appear eager to make uniform local government bylaws that would require officials to provide protection from stray animals and ensure their humane treatment.

MEGA-PROJECT

Because we were all animal lovers who felt compassion for them, it was only natural for us to want to do all we could to assist. That’s why, when one of my group members shared her vision, which was also her SMART goal, we all resolved to work towards it. Because I’ve been wanting to do this for so long, why not? We were all aware of the suffering these nonverbal creatures endured, but after the Mega Project, we began to see the same scenarios in a new light. Noticing things and perceiving them differently. So that’s how our concept came to be; 🐾THE STRAY CARE PROJECT🐾

GOALS

#1: Awareness Through Social Media

#2: Get Training By Professionals On how to care for animals

#3: Set up Water and Feeding Spots

#4: Give Training About how to take care of your Pets

#5: Celebrate World Rabies Day on the 28th of September

#6: Conduct an educational camp

BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS

Only five animal welfare needs have been discovered by our research;

  1. To be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease
  2. To live in a suitable environment
  3. To eat a suitable diet
  4. To exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  5. To be housed with, or apart from, other animals.
    The business model canvas is a means for presenting our societal concept in a practical and long-term manner. Our team has devised a BMC to bring our concept to life after extensive discussion and deliberation. It’s seen in the illustration on the left.

TIMELINE

We decided to go with raising Awareness and Volunteering to start with our work. The original plan has been attached on the side.

During the implementation phase, we discovered that the strategy had certain restrictions due to the current state of Covid-19 and impromptu lockdowns. So we decided to work on a more digitalized surface. Some new steps that were added along the way were arranging webinars and training sessions to raise awareness in the community. Another new addition was the setting up of food and water spots for dogs, cats and birds. We decided to recycle plastic bottles for that. This was all supposed to be a self-investment project that could later accept donations so that we could afford to buy food and material for water and feeding spots for the purpose of mass feeding.

Adding to our goals and plans of action has given us a greater sense of responsibility, as according to our research, raising awareness about animal cruelty and abuse, educating people about spaying and neutering their pets to reduce stray populations, and advocating for pet adoption and informing them about how they can help homeless animals by using recyclable materials that they would otherwise throw away may make a significant contribution to the fight against animal cruelty and unjust culling.

PLAN OF ACTION

^The first step we took towards this was to research as much as we could. We talked to a professional vet about the possibilities and explored various options. We decided to only take dogs, cats and birds into consideration.

This helped us to grasp the actuality of our problem and tips to tackle this problem. The researches we came across helped us to understand what our business plan could include. It sharpened some edges off for us to be able to see where we were lacking. The planning phase got easier after we were able to analyze those researches we came across. But still, a lot of thing needs to be taken into consideration.

^The second step was to formulate a plan of action. Our immediate step would be to reach out to professionals to understand and learn the needs and pain points. We took help from 3 people; Dr Quratulain Anjum, Dr. Ahsan Bukhari and Dr Waqas Noor.

^ The third step was changed from volunteering to arranging training sessions, awareness webinars, educational camps and engaging with different people who would need our services.

^To help animals, we’d provide water and food spots throughout our communities. This would be accomplished using the recyclable plastic bottles and clay pots that are already lying around the house, uselessly.

^The last step was to estimate our insights and see how many people we were able to reach and influence. This would also include the number of animals we had managed to impact.

TASK DIVISION

As a Team leader, the most important task was to delegate and assign tasks according to the team abilities and skills. This is how we ended up contributing.

Where I would be working on content and delegating along with shaping the ideas, Fatima would go out there, contacting people and developing connections for us. Two of our connections were thanks to her. Jamshed was responsible to do what he did best, making models (BMC), Gantt charts and all other results representing illustrations. Ahmed and Jamshed were also responsible for creating our page and making sure the aesthetics were on point, while everyone else provided pictures and content. Ahmed was also our evaluator who made sure nothing got out of hand or looked bad. He discovered one of our links. Hamza was the team player. While he stayed away from conflicts, he was also the one to neutralize threats by being the voice of reason. He estimated what we would need and what could be done. Usama was a new addition who joined us during our implementation phase. It was wonderful to have him on board because he was the one who would jump for action the moment the idea was out of our mouths. He was the first to send in his experiments. The doer of our team. Although he was an introvert, he would still be contributing and sending in results. The one thing we have in common is our love for animals, making this such a fun project to work on.

ANTICIPATED CHALLENGES

Finance

Finance was and continues to be one of our problems. We were all either students, freshly hired, or seeking jobs. As a result, it was difficult to generate enough revenue. So we went with concepts like using worthless plastic bottles for food and water spots. Everything else was either on a digital platform or required a little amount of revenue, something we could voluntarily offer.

Covid-19

This is a challenge that we have to go with the flow with. The impromptu lockdowns, SOP’s and restrictions that are announced without warning make it difficult to plan something ahead. Our educational camp has been delayed more than once. We couldn't go out to get our training and had to settle with Zoom meetings. We decided to arrange webinars instead of seminars, online awareness events instead of physically being there. Managing a remote team has also been a concern, but we managed that through.

Bonding Through Technology

Awareness is something where empathy takes on a bigger role. It is achieved through delivering passion and evidence of the importance of a significant cause. Bonding over laptop screens was not in the cards. It wasn’t much of a plan at first. But we gradually came up with suggestions. It was difficult to persuade parents to allow their children to be photographed and recorded. Or persuading non-governmental organizations (NGOs) about our ideas when we had to rely on texts and emails instead of meeting them in person. We intend to seek the assistance of those who are currently active in the online community in order to pick up some suggestions and put them into practice so that we may persuade and inspire others to join our cause.

CONCLUSION

If our plans work out, we might be able to help some lost and homeless feline souls. Our training might be able to help owners to be able to take care of their pets. This is still a plan in progress. We might need assistance next or fundings. This epidemic is not only tough for us but also for animals. One of the most fulfilling things you can do is help animals in need. When it comes to animals, even the simplest gesture may have a big impact. You can still help even if you can’t volunteer or foster a child. Leaving those empty boxes outside where you encounter stray animals may have a significant impact. They could find shelter there in the end. You may also leave some water out in your gardens or on your porch for stray animals, dogs, and birds. They don’t require opulent items; rather, they require compassion. You need to remember;

>They, too, are sentient beings and are sensitive to suffering!

>They also require water and food!

>They’re looking for someplace safe to take refuge.

>If not love, then at the very least kindness and compassion is all they need.

Don’t overlook these helpless creatures, or they’ll perish from hunger, disease, and abuse at the hands of humans.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Despite the challenges, my team remained strong in the face of setbacks, including a last-minute alteration in plans. We were able to overcome obstacles thanks to our strong bond, and we’re currently looking for ways to deal with the problems we foresee. Nothing would be possible if they were absent. They are still involved in the project. They are always supportive, inspiring, and encouraging to one another, participating actively, and appreciating suggestions for our next steps. This is especially crucial while working under strict deadlines. The level of dedication they’ve exhibited throughout this project has amazed me. All of this would be impossible without their help.

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