Feb 9, 2016

Progressive Change

Thobile and son
Thobile and son

When you view the last picture in this report (unfortunately, not an uncommon sight), you will appreciate how the lack of animal care results in difficult animals, which drives people’s fear of their own dogs or cats, which contributes to the continued rough treatment of these animals... As children take what they see daily as normal, this cycle is compounded negatively.

Contrast this with a person who has experienced the enjoyment of interacting with a well cared for cat or dog.

As I live right next to our office and training site, my dogs (DJ, Kookie, Rhino and Ziggy) and cats (UFO, Funken and Ella) interact regularly with participants attending Vusumnotfo training activities.

It gives me great pleasure to witness participants transitioning from first day fear, to second day nervousness, to third day tolerance, to fourth day greeting the animals by name, and by the last day of a workshop, sharing their lunch scraps with my dogs and cats.

The picture of Thobile and her son was taken on the last day of such a workshop. The picture of Ziggy, well Ziggy just assumes that she belongs every where and that every one loves her …. This unconditional love being the gift that a well cared for animal gives.

Thank you for your support in helping make this really fun project happen. We appreciate your help in passing the message that animal care services, combined with education on how to care for and enjoy the companionship of animals, is a wonderful way to promote the development of empathy in young children (and by extension, our humanity).

Ziggy
Ziggy
Unfortunately, not an uncommon sight
Unfortunately, not an uncommon sight
Dec 2, 2015

Slowly but surely

Ok, so this is sorta nice
Ok, so this is sorta nice

After Ginger and Griffin started to feel comfortable in the office, it was time to introduce the students. We started with the Grade 4 class, because this is the class that Lance is in, he being the only student who was used to having cats as pets.

However, the other students are fast becoming used to Griffin and Ginger. To be honest, it has surprised me at how quickly they are letting down their guard and and letting go of their fears.

But then again, a well cared for kitty is one of lifes pleasures, as our students are starting to have first hand expose too. Already a few students first thing upon arrival, are stopping by to greet Ginger and Griffin.

Thank you for your support in helping make this really fun yet important project happen. Your help in passing the message that by bringing animal care services, combined with education, to rural Swaziland, together we can teach young children how to care for and enjoy the companionship of animals. Promoting the development of empathy in young children will contribute to a better future for us all.

A little bit scared, a little bit OK
A little bit scared, a little bit OK
Lance, Ginger and Griffin - a picture of happiness
Lance, Ginger and Griffin - a picture of happiness
Nov 23, 2015

Ginger and Griffin - getting comfortable

Favorite sleeping spot
Favorite sleeping spot

As any person used to cats will be familiar with, it has not taken Ginger and Griffin long to decide they own the office. After their first few days at Hlanganani, they started to come out of their hiding places and explore, although they still go back into the shadows when students and parents come into the office.

This has actually been good for the students as it reduces their concerns while increasing their excitement about catching a glimpse of Ginger and Griffin. During break time the students are starting to hang around the outside of the office, asking a lot of questions about what Ginger and Griffin have gotten up to. They are starting to notice that Griffin is the explorer and Ginger likes to look pretty.

Ginger and Griffin have taken to sleeping by the computer, it is their favorite spot when students are not around.   Finding these two curled up, without a care in the world, has added a nice dimension to my day, particularly as we are all running around, getting ready for final exams.

Thank you for your support in helping make this really fun yet important project happen, and for your help in passing the message that by bringing animal care services, combined with education, to rural Swaziland, together we can teach young children how to care for and enjoy the companionship of animals, thereby promoting the development of empathy in young children

Busy playing
Busy playing
Ginger, tired out from office work
Ginger, tired out from office work
 
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