As featured on the TimesofMalta.
A nine-year-old girl has become the latest benefactor of an animal sanctuary in her own small way, spurred by her passion for dogs, together with an activist, entrepreneurial spirit that is seeing her rope in her friends to spend the summer raising funds.
On her own initiative, Kristina D’Amato aims to raise €2,000 to be able to foot the food bill for a month at the Island Sanctuary in Delimara. She has, so far, collected over €250 from selling her jewellery designs, bookmarks and cupcakes from car parks, the Sliema front and at the beach.
Too young to assist at the sanctuary she visits regularly – children have to be 13 – she has found her own niche after incessantly asking her parents how she can help out.
The urge to raise funds has found her selling her items wherever she can and offering buyers the option to donate more than the asking price for the good cause. Scepticism, if any, is met with receipts from the Island Sanctuary for donations already made, together with photos.
Her parents say Kristina was born with a strong bond with animals and she cannot stumble upon a stray dog without going over to see to it.
Although she was brought up with two strays, Leila and Lucy, they do not quite understand the source of her passion and activism. What is sure is that her frequent visits to sanctuaries have left her dismayed at the state of animals and she is “calling on the government to do something about it; to help the sanctuaries more although she does not know how to send her message through.
“They do not have good beds and mats to lie on. They should have normal ones, just like other dogs at home,” she insists.
Kristina has also ‘set up’ the Animal Charity Club and is enticing friends to join in, spreading awareness about animal issues among those who may not have been conscious.
Family and friends are fast joining forces and the pot is filling.
Meanwhile, her bedroom is transforming into a workshop and office, while the home’s dining area is now a makeshift meeting room for her friends to discuss an upcoming fundraising event, complete with activities, to draw in the donations.
The organisation is under way, and the planning, menus and all are in the nine-year-old’s hands, said her parents.
“When I was younger, I always wanted to make a change,” Kristina says.
“I feel very sorry the dogs have been treated badly; their hearts have been broken and they do not have a good life.”
“When I grow up, I want to be a vet,” says Kristina, who has already planned her future working day.
“Before I start my job, first thing in the morning, I intend to visit the sanctuaries and check up on any of their needs for free.”