The global rise of social media has brought a lot of very real issues to many people’s attention at a faster rate than ever before. Locally, one huge issue that we can no longer turn a blind eye to is animal displacement, abandonment and abuse in the streets and homes of Kuwait. That is why kind souls like Danna Jawhar and Fay Al-Ajmi decided to use the widespread means of communication to take matters into their own hands and help resolve the issue once and for all by creating RAF.
An acronym for Rescue Adopt Foster, RAF was inspired by Danna and Fay’s eternal love for animals and their very first co-rescue, Elmo the cat. “We had been following rescue accounts on Instagram, and one day, we saw Elmo – who had been attacked by a dog. After that, it was our fate to rescue animals and care for them, it’s who we are and it’s what we love to do.” Danna explained warmly, as Fay pipes in; “Having so many rescues that needed homes we had to think outside the box which lead us to creating RAF.”
People all over Kuwait stay connected through Instagram and WhatsApp to alert Danna and Fay of cases discovered, and like super heroes, the friends make the trek to the situation to see what they can do. They aren’t always easy cases, but with a lot of compassion and teamwork, their objective to rescue the helpless animals of Kuwait and get them into foster care provided by volunteers has turned into a reality.
Why are you both passionate about this cause?
Danna: Its simple: Animals. There is no feeling like fighting for a living creature that doesn’t have a voice. I will never understand animal cruelty. We have rescues that are missing their teeth from being kicked and being dumped in cardboard boxes on the side of a road; we HAVE to help them.
Fay: Having pets that mean the world to us makes us think of all the helpless souls who need our help. We can’t begin to imagine what our own pets would go through if God forbid they got out or were in abusive homes.
What are the benefits of rescuing/fostering abandoned animals for people who never had a pet before?
D: It’s a temporary bonding experience like never before! It’s not only fun having an animal around, its special to see this animal rely on you, learn to trust you again and get attached to you!
F: Pets are an amazing experience for adults and children, just the feeling of helping an innocent soul makes you feel so proud of yourself. It’s a good chance to teach younger generations to be kind to animals and how to care for them and show them that animals too have feelings just like us humans.
Can you share some success stories with our readers?
D: Elmo’s story is close to my heart. His injuries extensive, he suffered depression, he wouldn’t eat, and he was covered in ringworm and because he was so weak his body couldn’t fight off any infections. We decided the only way this cat would survive was to show him LOVE. We bought him so many toys, treats, blankets, made him boiled chicken and hand fed him. Even the nurses would joke and change his cast colours daily to keep everything positive! This was a lesson: animals respond to kindness.
F: Mine would have to be Sammy. I saw a picture of a dog lying on the side of the road; she was lifeless. I decided I wanted to try and help her. When I got to her, I didn’t even know if she was alive or not. I rushed her to the vet, and the first thing I was told was to put her to sleep because she wasn’t going to survive the night. I refused. Sammy was obviously used for breeding and when she wasn’t needed, cruel people dumped her, shot her in her tummy and stabbed her in the hips. They basically left her to bleed out and die. We found dead, undeveloped puppies, in her tummy. She is now perfect, after a long recovery and almost a year at the vet, she learnt to walk, love and trust again!
How can people get involved with RAF?
Foster, donate, adopt and follow us on Instagram. We are constantly in need of fosters and donations, so please direct message us, if you’re willing.
Follow RAF on Instagram and get involved by keeping updated on @raf.kw.