Since I was young, I've always been a strong believer in using the skills and capabilities you have to do good for others. Although I don't necessarily believe in Karma, the process of saying "hell yes!" to acts of kindness, showing good intentions and releasing positive energy into the universe has always culminated in little "yippee!" moments for me. In a disastrous year that seems never-ending, the growing movement of individuals and organisations who are stepping up and taking action on social inequality, environmental degradation and animal welfare, shines a light that signals a collective sense of care and responsibility for our planet.
One such light recently came across my path in the form of my close friend Jo, who is the Practice Manager at Phnom Penh Animal Welfare Society in Cambodia. Her idea was to reach out to artists all over the world, who could create or donate prints that would support the Practice's efforts in caring for their animals, most of whom are strays. Asking if I would consider creating such print, my immediate response was, of course, "hell yes!"
PPAWS is one of those magical organisations that is run by locals, who consider animal well-being from every angle. As well as being a volunteer organisation, it is also a full-service Veterinary Clinic. The profits from PPAWS veterinary services, along with donations, help to treat stray and rescue animals, as well as fund rescue missions around the country. Across Cambodia, their is a rising number of stray animals without homes, so one of the Practice's main purposes is to find forever homes for the animals who come through their doors, whether that's through adoption or fostering. Wanting to share more on what this amazing organisation does, I caught up with Jo to get the low down on this creative project and what it would mean to the centre.
Tell me a bit about this project, what inspired you to take a creative approach to raising donations?
I originally had a background in Art History, which is what I studied at university, so I've always had a love for creative design. After travelling and living in South East Asia for over half a decade, my passion shifted to animal welfare. I have had the opportunity to work with NGOs in Vietnam, Sri Lanka and now Cambodia. I see this project as an opportunity to bring both of these passions together, in a way that is meaningful to others and gives them a tangible reminder of their support. Unfortunately, many of the animals we work with here in Kampot are often abandoned at the Pagodas (temples), and so we want to ensure we are taking action quickly to get them medical care and re-home them.
For those who resonate with PPAWS' work and want to support you through this project, can you tell me a bit about where the donations go?
Yes! So there are two ways in which people who purchase the prints can donate.
For those wishing to donate to PPAWS directly, they can do so for as little as $2 via their website https://ppaws.com/donations/. All donations made through the website help to cover medical treatments, support rescue missions for strays, as well as provide them with vaccinations, rabies treatments, desexing and treatment for tropical illnesses.
2. Take a screenshot of your confirmed donation
3. Send the screenshot and DM PPAWS Instagram @pawprintscollective, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, email address and the name of the artist and variant you would like.
4. You'll then receive your design electronically.