Funda Nenja, Howick (Mpophomeni)

Funda Nenja is a South African “One Welfare ” initiative touching the lives of the children and dogs of Mpophomeni outside Howick KZN Midlands.

Funda Nenja started in 2009, the name roughly translates from isiZulu to mean ‘learning with a dog’.

The Funda Nenja model aims to nurture children into caring and responsible young adults while at the same time opening up possibilities for their self-development.

The dogs are used to teach these principles and in so doing creates the bond between child and dog. By using the training technique, they learn discipline and respect when interacting with parents, teachers, people of different cultures and their environment.

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The programme is delivered in a safe and secure environment using the dog training technique, it is a fun event that draws over 100 children each week to interact with and learn from each other.

Funda Nenja works in Mpophomeni, a Township of over 30 000 residents, just outside of Howick, KZN.

The DOG SCHOOL attracts over 100 learners who attend weekly activities and education sessions, during the school term. The dog school is our central point from where we provide veterinary services, sterilisation and rabies clinics and teach animal welfare.

An extension of the project is the SCHOOL EDUCATION PROGRAMME. Their facilitators are equipped to deliver life skills lessons to develop primary school learners as well as to provide education on animal and environmental welfare.

Children, caregivers, parents and extended family benefit from our FAMILY SUPPORT PROGRAMME by accessing services provided by our Social Worker.


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Dog Guardian of the Week 🐕 Alondwe Mkhize and sweet Rollie have been attending the Friday afternoon classes at Funda Nenja for more than two years now. These two started when Alondwe was only 9 years old and Rollie just a puppy. 🐾 Alondwe says he named his dog Rollie because “she likes to do the rolls around… when she was a baby she would roll and roll… so it was her name”. 🐕 Alondwe is a very quiet, reserved and unassuming young man, but also incredibly kind and gentle. These two are perfectly matched as Rollie is quiet, but also a a very sweet and gentle dog. These two never get up to any of naughty antics like some of the other children, instead they are always found quietly sitting and cuddled together. Alondwe says that the best thing thing he has learnt at Funda Nenja is “to love Rollie… before I didn’t know dogs, and I didn’t know that dogs could be friends, but now Rollie is my friend all the time… I am always happy when Rollie is there”. 🐾 Alondwe lives with his mother and grandparents and says that “my family love Rollie”. He says that "I have taught them how to love Rollie, and how to be nice to all animals, now they see that animals can be your friends… and they love Rollie too much”. “My gogo (grandmother) keeps special inyama (meat) for Rollie and gogo makes sure she has lots of food, sometimes Rollie gets more inyama than me”. Indeed, Rollie is starting to look a bit roly poly these days! 🐶 Eleven-year old Alondwe says that when he grows up he wants to be a “pilot… so that I can take Rollie to see everywhere, all the places that I haven’t seen, like the sea.… Rollie has only seen Mpophomeni… and I have also only seen Mpophomeni”.

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