An interview with World Animal Day Ambassador, Novalis Yao (West Africa)

Novalis Yao is the founder of Monde Animal En Passion-MAEP aka Panimale. Based in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, his mission is to educate and inspire the next generation of Africans to stop animal abuse.

How long have you been a World Animal Day Ambassador?

“I was appointed ambassador for World Animal Day on exactly March 24 2009 by Caroline Baker, project manager at the time!”

How does the celebration of World Animal Day help your cause?

“By showing that, beyond Côte d'Ivoire, we belong to a worldwide movement. It's a day where animals are honored, so it's easier to communicate our actions and generate interest.”

What are the biggest problems for Panimale?

“The biggest challenge we face is financial and logistical. We have little support locally and internationally. I must say, animal welfare doesn’t attract huge crowds.”

What can the public do to help you?

“Contributions, donations and by sharing their opinions and expectations.”

What have you done for previous World Animal Days?

“We’ve celebrated it in different ways over the years. There was the inauguration of our library, the launch of our new website, and an awareness campaign in a large supermarket. We’ve also hosted drawing contests and film viewings!”

What has COVID-19 changed for you?

“The pandemic has frozen our schedule for the year and shuts us away. It’s worse because we work with the public: breeders, students, authorities, etc. and teleworking isn’t really viable for us. This World Animal Day, we’ll publish a press release and do something more ambitious next year.”

What’s your favourite thing about World Animal Day?

“It’s the planetary aspect of it. Knowing that we belong to something bigger than us. In the future, I hope that all Ambassadors around the world can meet face-to-face to share our stories and ideas.”

 

Visit the Panimale website to find out more.