Seeing the world through the eyes of a donkey is at the heart of The Donkey Sanctuary’s ambitious new five-year strategy, which aims to improve the lives of five million donkeys worldwide.

Marianne Steele (pictured below), who was appointed CEO of The Donkey Sanctuary in November 2022, shared the vision.

“Dr Svendsen founded The Donkey Sanctuary over 50 years ago to strive towards a better world for donkeys and one where donkeys everywhere are treated with the kindness and respect they deserve,” she said.

“Our new strategy embraces these founding values and the positive impact of donkeys on communities, culture and the environment. Around the world, donkeys are intrinsically linked to the cultures and landscapes they inhabit. When we see the world through a donkey’s eyes, we see a way to improve the world, not just for donkeys, but for the people and communities that rely on them.”

An ambitious plan

The new strategy sets out how the charity will improve the welfare of donkeys in its care and around the world, with goals to:

  • Improve the lives of five million donkeys
  • Inspire a global community of one million to help them in their mission
  • Be leaders in a global plan for donkey welfare
  • Make The Donkey Sanctuary a great place to work and become a partner of choice
  • Establish world-class operational practices that make the most of their resources
  • Increase their income to deliver these goals

“Donkeys remain in peril,” said Marianne. “They need our help. We cannot do this alone – building partnerships and communities is key. We’ll do this by sharing knowledge with those closest to donkeys and inspiring a movement of people who can help us drive positive change.

“We will intensify our campaign for an end to the donkey skin trade and continue our work with the UN and NGOs around the world to improve the welfare of working donkeys.

“Central to our strategy is elevating the status of donkeys. By dispelling myths and positioning donkeys as the highly intelligent and sensitive animals they are, deserving of our respect, we will create a demand for better welfare.

“In a tumultuous world, our plans are ambitious, but we are confident we have the knowledge, passion and focus to improve the lives of millions of donkeys and honour the work Dr Svendsen started over half a century ago. Our work over the next five years will be driven by The Donkey Sanctuary’s vision of a world where every donkey has a good quality of life, and its mission to improve the lives of donkeys every day.”

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