Anima International is reluctantly ending its operations in Russia
May 11, 2022
At the moment, Anima International is going through an important period of transition. In April we said goodbye to our former CEO and I was asked to step in to help lead the organization while we think critically about the future. We recognize that in order to help as many animals as possible, we need to become the best organisation we can be—learning from our mistakes and growing continually, guided by our vision of a future free from animal suffering.
We are using this change in management as an opportunity for a new start. The Managing Board of Anima International is currently working through a roadmap of the challenges we may face in the coming months and years. We are asking ourselves hard questions, challenging assumptions and having deep conversations about our purpose and strategy. We are reviewing and rewriting our complaints procedure to ensure that it is both effective at spotting internal problems and clear for everyone to understand. Perhaps most importantly, we are spending more time investing in our organisational culture. We strive to make our culture, our transparency, our openness to constructive criticism, and our continual reassessment of our goals and metrics our defining characteristics—characteristics which are not simply written on our website, but are integral to the way we function and progress as an organization.
Alongside this refocusing with regard to our larger aims, our core programs are continuing successfully. Our corporate outreach teams working on cage-free campaigns are pushing forward with their campaigns after a brief pause and a slight change in strategy due to the pandemic. We are expanding our teams in Belarus and Russia. Momentum for the protection of broiler chickens is growing, and our plant-based campaign ‘Chefs for Change’ is expanding with new ambassadors in countries like Russia, Thailand, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Czechia, Portugal, Nigeria and Argentina. Our movement building team has been focusing on local organizations and activists in Asia. We are also close to releasing an online resource library platform, which will include materials such as webinars, guides, ready-to-use footage and press release templates for organizations and activists to use freely.
On a more personal note, I’d like to share a bit about my journey with Anima International and my hopes for the future. I joined the Anima International team as Director of Communications around two years ago when the organization was founded, but I quickly got involved in other aspects of work—from human resources to global cage-free campaigns. As part of the Managing Board, I've been working behind the scenes with my team members since the beginning. I saw the logo being created, I helped organise the first ever Anima International gathering of all our staff, and I’ve travelled across Europe to meet and engage with my colleagues in person. I’ve also seen mistakes being made, and I’ve made many errors myself.
Looking forward, I feel both thoughtful and optimistic. Thoughtful because we have some serious challenges ahead of us, both in terms of building the team we want to be and in creating the world we want to see for animals. We will meet these difficulties head on and yes, sometimes we will fail. Yet I am very optimistic because if there is one thing I’ve learned throughout these difficult few months it is that I can’t think of a better team I would rather be facing these challenges with.
That team includes everyone reading this post, and so to Anima International’s staff, volunteers and donors I just want to say thank you. Thank you for your continuous generosity, support and trust. The animals need all of it.