Gallery director Geoffrey Hughes and artist Sophie Walbeoffe chose to support Brooke’s work in Kenya because of a connection they both have to the country, and a love for animals. The gallery is known for its focus on equestrian and sporting art.
Sophie, who has lived in Kenya for 25 years, recently moved back there after living for three years in Jerusalem.
“Whilst living in Lamu, I became well aware of the plight of the working donkeys in Kenya whilst living there, and I love to paint them – they are beautiful animals.
“My family owned donkeys when I was younger, so I got to know what wonderful characters they can be. Seeing them mistreated makes me so upset.”
There are approximately 1.8 million working equines in Kenya, mostly donkeys, and they help people to put food on their tables, send their children to school and build better futures for themselves and their families. However, disease, untreated injuries, and backbreaking loads are an everyday reality for these animals, and people don’t always have the knowledge or resources to look after them properly.
Geoffrey Hughes heard about Brooke’s work as a trustee of the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Trust, which has raised thousands of pounds for Brooke and other charities. Geoffrey visited Brooke’s work in Kenya earlier in the year. He said:
“Through the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Trust I learnt how ongoing and sustained support for charities like Brooke enables them to grow and become more effective over the years.
“Brooke’s teams overseas show great love, care and dedication. I’ve seen their work, and they have this fantastic formula of working with local people and showing them how to better care for their working donkeys. We’re excited to hold this private view in support of Brooke, and help them reach even more animals.”
Brooke focusses on sustainable change – training owners, vets, farriers and other service providers so they can continue their work long after Brooke has left an area. You can find out more at the event or by visiting www.thebrooke.org. Learn more about Sophie’s work at the gallery by visiting www.osg.uk.com.
Those interested in attending the private view should RSVP by 27 April by calling 0207 470 9343 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. It takes place between 6pm and 8pm, and drinks and canapés will be served.