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
Nov 13, 2015

Meet Ginger and Griffin

Meet Ginger and Griffin
Meet Ginger and Griffin

In Swaziland, cats are often seen as pests and treated with hostility and superstitution. So aside from making available veterinary services, the challenge is how to help children learn to take care of and enjoy the companionship of cats when most of them do not have cats at home (or if they do, the cats are not well treated).

Thus was borne “The Ginger and Griffin Project” at Hlanganani School. Hlanganani is an independent Not for Profit pre and primary school in the town of Piggs Peak, northern Swaziland. In conjunction with Vusumnotfo and Swaziland Animal Welfare Society (SAWS), the school has started “The Ginger and Griffin Project” to provide a hands on positive experience for the students. Project activities include:

  • Grades rotating weekly the responsibilities of providing food and water to Griffin and Ginger.
  • Government Veterinary officer providing veterinary services, while explaining both animal care and science concepts.
  • SAWS providing Hlanganani with age appropriate educational material about animal care - and Hlanganani students will later be taking a field trip to SAWS Animal Shelter in the capital city.
  • Supporting students in a manner that allows each child to slowly become comfortable in handling and petting Ginger and Griffin.

The arrival of Ginger and Griffin at Hlanganani caused quite a stir as most children (and some of the staff!) were afraid of them. So the first few days the kitties stayed in my office. We recyled an old computer for their bed and are giving them a few days to get settled in before introducing them to the students.

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

Ginger in the recycled computer bed
Ginger in the recycled computer bed
 
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