The presence of stray dogs has been an issue of concern in Tajikistan for many years. This year, locals passionate about animals started to protect dog’s right by signing a petition to provide a comfortable living environment for stray dogs. The goal of this petition was for the government to support the building and maintenance of an animal shelter.

FLEX Alumni wanted to be a part of this project and organized two events to raise awareness about animal cruelty and its prevention in Tajikistan. Both events took place in Dushanbe in September and attracted 182 locals in total, including 15 FLEX alumni.

During the event, FLEX alumni showed the movie “A Dog’s Purpose”, directed by Lasse Hallstrom, which portrays the love a dog has for its owner. The alumni hoped that this film would encourage the audience to show their love and respect for animals in return, and they did: the FLEX Alumni Community raised $310 in donations from the audience. These funds were used to buy food for dogs at a local animal shelter. In an effort to continue the project, alumni Rukhshona Sharipova  ’15 (Dushanbe, Tajikistan/Mindoro, WI), Azim Saidov  ’17 (Kurgan-tyube, Tajikistan/Fort Gratiot, MI), Nuriya Mullo-Abdolova  ’17 (Dushanbe, Tajikistan/ Eagle River, AK), and Shahlo Alikhonzoda  ’17 (Kulob, Tajikistan/Elgin, IA) started visiting and volunteering at the shelter on a regular basis.

After the event, the number of volunteers at the animal shelter increased exponentially. FLEX alumni are happy to make a contribution to solving a notable issue in Tajikistan and will continue working toward alleviating it.

 

Written by Rukhshona Sharipova ‘15

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