Podrska Foundationis creating equity, compassion, and justice for humans and non-humans
About Podrska Foundation
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By becoming a Patreon of the Podrska Foundation, you are directly helping those who need our support the most (both human and non human) as well as growing the vegan movement both in Africa and worldwide. Together we can be a part of realizing the vision of a world governed by equity, compassion, and justice between human beings as well as between human and non-human animals.
My name is Dash Meizler. I am the founder of the Podrska Foundation. I was born in Kamplala, Uganda and am currently living in Kampala. I was motivated to undertake humanitarian work after personally having experienced the difficulties of poverty, namely hunger and inability to afford an education. My compassion for non-human animals took root later in my life. As my parents were poultry farmers, I was expected to work in the family business. So I had first hand experience of the suffering experienced by the chickens. My transition to veganism started when a friend sent me a video showing the Taliban cutting off people’s heads. I was so disturbed that I asked my friend not to send me such videos. He replied “gwe nga osala bano” – which means “how come you also slaughter others?” I asked him “which others?” and he replied “chickens.” I dismissed his comment as laughable until one day when I was slaughtering a chicken, and, in the process of taking off its head, the blood spilt on my foot. At that moment I hoped that I would never die like that. And, suddenly, a statement made by the same friend who sent me the videos popped up in my head: “So you don’t want to die the way you kill chickens, but you are playing God by already killing living things the same way in which you don’t want to die.” I suddenly felt a connection between the taking of a chicken’s life and the taking of a human life. That was my last act of slaughter and I began to make the connections between animal products and suffering, and started valuing the lives of non-human animals as much as I valued humans. Since 2018 I have been living a vegan lifestyle and helping others develop empathy for and justice towards our non-human fellow inhabitants of this planet through the activities of Podrska.
The Podrska Foundation is a vegan foundation based in Kampala, Uganda, committed to an ethics of care for both human and non-human lives. Through grassroots programs that we conduct locally we foster impoverished orphans, children, at-risk youth, and single-mothers. Our programs include child welfare initiatives, teenage counselling, women empowerment, early education for women and children, and plant-based food distribution. Each of our programs also encourages participants to make choices informed by compassion for non-human animals. By raising awareness of the intersections between human health and planetary health, between human and non-human animals, through activism and education our volunteers work directly with locals to enable them not only to make improvements in their own lives but also to become part of a world that is healthy, environmentally sustainable and ethically oriented.
Our projects include:
Project Grow - a grassroots initiative designed to practice and promote the care of humans, non-human animals and the environment by training participants to to recycle their plant based organic waste into usable compost and grow nutritional vegetable crops in recycled containers.
The Compassionate Feeding Program - a food donation project under Podrska's Vegan Food Program that aims to feed nutritious plant-based cooked meals to the destitute and homeless that do not have cooking facilities and live within the vicinity of Kampala.
The Lady Project – a project promoting gender equality through economic empowerment for women who who are struggling due to poor health, economic difficulties, lack of support or
discrimination and abuse including single mothers, teenage mothers and HIV+ women
Vegan Schools Campaign - this project involves us visiting primary and secondary schools in order to raise awareness in students of the health and environmental benefits of a wholistic plant-based diet. During our visits, we make presentations on various aspects of veganism including health, sustainability, climate-change, farm animals, and an ethic of care for the planet at large. We meet students where they are and provide them with the basic knowledge and tools necessary for living in ways that do justice to themselves, their fellow-humans as well as non-human animals
The Vegan University Club - creating awareness in youth of Uganda about the ethical and practical considerations of a vegan diet through activities such as food sampling, movie screening and humane education.