Ghana SPCA Goes on Field Trips!
In the latter part of 2016 and into 2017, Ghana SPCA has taken Humane Education students on several AKI-funded field trips. These trips are often the first time students are exposed to nature, dogs, cats, and small animal vets. Several students have mentioned that they leave a lasting impression and there's no learning experience they have ever had quite like these field trips.
In early November, 2 school groups of about 20 students each from Amrahia and Trust Academy visited the Village Pets and Gardens Center in Dzorwulu, a suburb of Accra, Ghana. They saw tropical fish and birds, and had a chance to hold a small white furry dog, probably like no dog the students had ever seen! (While we may not be in favor of pet shops, this is the only one in Accra, and it is a clean, humane enterprise and a good way for children and adults to be introduced to animals and pet care (versus selling dogs on the streets, which is the more common place to purchase dogs).) Here's a video of the field trip (by GSPCA's Aluizah) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NooQUp8q73Y (on the AnimalsInternational youtube channel).
Later in the year, Humane Education students were treated to a field trip to Ghana's famous Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary in Ho, Volta Region, Ghana, where they had the chance to see Mona monkeys. Staff from the sanctuary gave a presentation to the students and led them through the forest. The students learned that it's taboo for anyone to hurt the monkeys. They fed bananas to the monkeys, and learned about forest vegetation. Here's a video (by Aluizah) of their visit (on the AnimalsInternational youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMYraEEQMWU)
For this full day field trip, AKI donors covered bus hire, small stipends for the 3 teachers (the trip took place on a Saturday) representing the 3 schools that participated, and breakfast and lunch for all participants.
Early in 2017, Ghana SPCA Humane Ed students went to La Vet Clinic, the premier small animal vet clinic in Accra. They were given a tour of the facility and had a chance to see vets working on cats and dogs. Most of the students had never seen a small animal clinic and had never even known that a vet goes to school for many years--like a doctor for humans--so she can treat cats and dogs. Forty-five students from Amrahia, Trust Academy, and Kwabenya Junior High School, 5 teachers, and GSPCA's David and Aluizah participated in the field trip. AKI donors covered bus hire and refreshments for all students and teachers.
Finally, in March, 44 students and 4 teachers went on a field trip to the University of Ghana Small Animal Teaching Hospital. Because of protocol, we are unable to show pictures of that visit. Students learned about what vets do and what it takes to become a vet. I bet after that visit, several students decided they would make veterinary medicine a career!
These field trips are invaluable. Where most learning is classroom-based and where children rarely have role models who care about animals, GSPCA's Humane Education Program and field trips could turn a student from someone who would not react in the face of cruelty to someone who will care for, protect, and advocate for animals. Depending on location and number of students, a field trip can cost from $200 to $500. We can only sponsor these thanks to donations from AKI supporters. Donations are gratefully accepted here: https://www.animal-kind.org/aki-donate