The new year got off to a great start when the President of AL, Lana El-Khalil, became Lebanon's Ambassador to World Animal Day.
World Animal Day was started in 1931, and has since grown into a worldwide movement for the benefit of all animals. Celebrated on October 4 of every year, World Animal Day works to acknowledge and be thankful of the way animals enrich our lives and the roles they play in our lives, while celebrating all animals and our relationship to them.
As Ambassador, Lana and AL will help grow the initiatives of World Animal Day and connect with so many other wonderful animal welfare organizations throughout the world.
But this Ambassadorship is not the only connection we have been making.
On November 2 we received an email from Ahmed El Sherbiny, the chairperson of MENAW 'the Middle East Network for Animal Welfare'.
'On behalf of MENAW board of directors we would like to welcome you as a new MENAW member society, your membership has been approved as of 1st November 2008,' wrote Mr. El Sherbiny.
MENAW helps bring together the animal welfare groups of the Middle East and to provide a forum to encourage the sharing of ideas and best practices.
Our first membership notification came in early September when we received a letter from WSPA, the World Society for the Protection of Animals.
'I am delighted to inform you that your application to become a WSPA Non-Voting Member Society has been Approved,' wrote Peter Davies, Director General of WSPA.
There are nearly 1000 member societies throughout the world, and this gives Animals Lebanon a perfect opportunity to gain from ' and contribute to ' the wealth of knowledge that WSPA and this huge network of member societies has. Following the approval of our application, AL received a grant from WSPA to help encourage TNR and build capacity amongst the vets of Lebanon.
'WSPA is proud to welcome Animals Lebanon (AL) as a Member Society. Many of the founder members of AL are well known to WSPA and consequently we are able to have faith in the dedication and knowledge of the AL team,' said Trevor Wheeler, the Middle East Projects Director for WSPA.
He continued, 'The main thrust of the AL programmes is to provide low cost spay/neuter and to educate the general public and animal owners on responsible pet ownership and animal welfare. WSPA endorses and supports these initiatives and looks forward to working with AL in the future on these programmes.'
This is just a start for Animals Lebanon, and throughout 2009 we will continue to build on these partnerships. There are so many groups doing such great work, and we need to make sure we benefit from their knowledge and experience to make Lebanon a wonderful place for animals.