A Salford student who has helped to save an animal sanctuary in Zimbabwe from closing down has been nominated for a top award.

Tash Woest, 32, has been nominated for the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots Award ‘Individual Endeavour’, for her dedication to helping rescue animals.

Tash, originally from Zimbabwe, used to run an animal selter in Sale for five years, before she decided to enrol at the University of Salford. Recently, she helped save an animal sanctuary in Zimbabwe from closing down.

The second year wildlife student said: “I was shocked but made up to have been nominated for this award. Shocked because to me I’m just me, doing something that I am passionate about. To get noticed for it is amazing. My nomination means that I’ll be able to meet Jane Goodall for a second time. To me she is my idol, she’s in to her eighties and yet she still makes the effort to meet her ambassadors and continue to do brilliant things for wildlife.”

Tash, who lives in Altrincham, has been working at animal rescue shelters since she was ten years old, where she volunteered at Mutare SPCA, the only animal rescue shelter in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.

She visited the sanctuary three years ago, and was shocked at what she discovered that she felt she had to do something to help.

Tash said: ” It broke my heart when I went back to the animal sanctuary. Due to the financial struggle in Zimbabwe, wooden pallets with a car tyre placed on top were being used for dog beds. The dogs were eating a porridge based diet with some meat mixed in because the shelter couldn’t afford a full dog food diet for them.

At the start of 2017, the animal sanctuary put out a plea to raise vital funds in order to keep the animal sanctuary open.

However, saving the animal sanctuary was made tougher for Tash, due to the financial crisis in the country making online donations complicated.

She said: “I had to do something to help, but due to the financial crisis in Zimbabwe, it is very difficult to have an easy online donation method and a way to set up monthly donations. However, there is a way for international donations to reach them. The animal rescue did not have a website and one of the things I did was design and publish a website to help generate funds and raise awareness. Along with other students, we hope to arrange a university fundraiser and apply for international grants to help secure funding.”

 

The Roots and Shoots Awards recognize student’s commitment to the environment, people and/or animals. Such efforts are published on the Roots & Shoots blog under the universities name and once a year, students are nominated for their efforts towards the categories.

The Jane Goodall Awards will take place at the Barbican Centre, in London on Friday 3rd March.

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