THE PROGRESS OF OUR HUMANE EDUCATION PROGRAM
Our relationship with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has been very productive, because of it, the Humane Education program in Malawi is increasingly gaining ground; we are certainly off to a good start. Since the program’s commencement, ALL CREATURES has successfully established eleven clubs in various primary schools within Lilongwe city, namely; Lilongwe Boys, Lilongwe LEA, Kawale, Biwi, Kliyeka, Chirambula, Chinsapo, Kafulu, Likuni Boys, Mbidzi and Chimutu primary schools. We have had an average of two club sessions with each school. Club sizes differ depending mostly on student population, the same with frequency of meetings which currently is dependent on the school calendars.
The willingness of Head teachers in the various schools to host and establish the Humane Education clubs for their students has been remarkably overwhelming. In each school, several teachers have more than willingly offered to be patrons or matrons for the clubs. Each time that the education team from ALL CREATURES has gone to any of the schools, the matrons and patrons have been actively involved by bringing together the club members from various classes and also have helped in encouraging pupil participation in the discussions.
|Centre: Joshua Nyasulu (ALL CREATURES Education Officer) and Mrs Maleka the matron at Lilongwe Girls Primary school along with the outstanding students|
The lessons so far have aimed to lay foundations of what Humane Education is all about and what it means in the Malawian setting. Our lessons are mainly derived from the IFAW study material that the organization so generously provided us with. The classes have also aimed to help pupils understand the relationships and importance of bio-diversity. The pupils have so far been introduced to companion animals and their importance to humans, they have been taught on the freedoms that all animals including companion animals have and what they can do in the daily lives to ensure that these freedoms are promoted. The education team has also been teaching the pupils, the best practices to preserve the lives of wild animals the best practices to preserve the lives of wild animals and also about the human relationship with wildlife.
One of the highlights of each of the sessions is at the end, when the pupils are asked questions based on what they have learnt, the children who respond satisfactorily to the questions are given IFAW T-shirts, it is always heart-warming to see the winners excitedly opening the T-shirt pack and hurriedly putting them on!
To further augment our efforts and our reach, we are also exploring a partnership with Jane Goodall’s ‘Roots and Shoots Club’; our educations officers will soon travel to Tanzania where they will be trained to equip them for the “Roots and Shoots” program in Malawi. With all this in place, we will certainly expand our reach and sensitize more and more children.