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  • Writer's pictureAnimal-Kind International

With AKI support, students in Ghana learn the joys of animals!

Humane Education--while everyone agrees it's important, it just doesn't attract much financial support, and let's face it, animal welfare organizations and initiatives live or die by the donations they receive. To help get the attention that Humane Education deserves and needs, I'm going to call it instead: getting firsthand experience with animals; learning the joys of animals; growing into a more kind human being.

AKI donors support Ghana SPCA's efforts to give students firsthand experiences with animals, like at November's field trip to the Livestock & Poultry Research Centre at the University of Ghana (pictures below). Solomon Boadu, a research assistant, welcomed the students and explained the Centre's work to improve farming and conditions for farm animals.

Solomon, donkey, and students
Solomon welcomed the students to the Centre

The highlight of the visit though was meeting the Centre's donkey. Peter, the Centre's donkey expert, explained basic care and handling of donkeys. Accra is a large, urban area, and for many of the students, this was the first time they actually saw a donkey, certainly the 1st time they touched one, and probably the 1st and only time they had a wagon ride with a donkey.

Peter the donkey expert
Peter, the donkey expert, explained donkey behavior, care, welfare

The students learned that donkeys are gentle if you are gentle with them, they are soft, they are fun, and and they are social. Not much different than people!

donkey and students
Students touch a donkey for the 1st time

rides in wagon pulled by donkey
Some of the students rode along in the donkey wagon (fitted with a humane harness)

learning about animals
An experience of a lifetime!

Students in Accra (Trust Academy, a longtime partner in GSPCA's Humane Ed Program) had another firsthand experience with animals in November when they visited the stables of the Accra Polo Club. Moses Kwasi Ampofo, the assistant stable manager, led the students through a tour of the facility. He explained horse behavior, grooming, feeding, and our responsibilities toward horses.

horse welfare at the polo club
Moses led the students through the facility and explained horse behavior and care

good horse care
Moses showed the students how he takes care of horses' hooves

From initially being scared by the size of the horses, the students gradually learned that they are friendly animals. Starting with one of the smaller horses, the students learned that if they don't act scared and if they approach a horse properly, the horse will be gentle. Slowly, the students got closer, they overcame their fears, and most touched and petted the large horses.

touching a horse for the 1st time
First, getting used to one of the smaller horses-an easy way to be introduced to horses


students with horse
At 1st the students were intimidated by the size of the horses
being kind to horses
The students overcame their fears when they learned how to approach a horse

Experiences like these create kids and adults with a basic understanding of animals-at the minimum, and who find joy in animals and feel kindness towards them. In Ghana, these Ghana SPCA field trips are the only opportunity for students to learn firsthand about animals and have direct experiences with animals.

Of course AKI donors still provide the funding for Ghana SPCA's in-classroom Humane Ed, which provides the foundation for the field trips. In the picture below, Abileo, the Humane Ed teacher at Awaah Junior High School, uses his tablet to show students Ghana's endangered wildlife. They discuss reasons to protect wildlife and things that students can do to help wildlife.

protecting wildlife
Abileo shows students some endangered wildlife species

Students from Doba Junior High School, located in the Kaseena Nankana East Municipality of the Upper East Region of Ghana, meet in their "outdoor classroom" for a Humane Ed session led by GSPCA's Aluizah Amasaba (white shirt). Aluizah is a very engaging teacher.

Donations to AKI provide Humane Education booklets to every Humane Ed student!

Humane Ed booklets
Students show off their Humane Education booklets

The field trips and the classroom Humane Ed are fully supported by AKI donors. You are bringing the joy of animals into the lives of Ghana's students.

For more information about Ghana SPCA, see this article in Donkeys for Africa's October newsletter.


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