Outreach and Impact Advisor, Kate Scruton, reflects on the importance of education and her first visit to Jordan – here are her thoughts:
When I first landed at the Jordan airport I couldn’t help but be taken aback by the beauty of this small Middle Eastern country. I was also charmed by just how friendly and welcoming the Jordanian people are.
Although I was only able to spend a short time in Jordan – I feel as though I learnt a great deal about not only the people, but the working animals which are employed across Jordan as well.
One of my favourite sayings is that we don’t know what we don’t know – and this is certainly a phrase which comes to mind when addressing the livelihood of working animals in Jordan. This is where education comes in!
Children in Jordan learn about the humane education of animals through SPANA funded animal welfare clubs as well as by visiting the SPANA education centre in Amman. The education centre itself is run by a fantastic team headed by the lovely Reema.
In the education centre children are involved in classroom lessons which explain the value of animals and the importance of treating them, and the environment, in an ethical and sustainable manner. Furthermore, kids are offered the opportunity to handle and interact with a number of animals.
Sugar, the very sweet -natured resident donkey – who was named by the local community – has certainly become the star of the centre since being adopted. Watching a group of seven year old girls gently grooming and feeding Sugar highlighted the importance of these education centres to me in a real life way that can only be appreciated in person.
With thousands of kids expected to visit the centre in the coming years, Sugar, and the many other animals at the SPANA education centre will all play a role in the continual drive to promote humane education of animals in Jordan.
The value of these experiences are shown changing children’s attitudes towards animals, which must have a positive effect in the future.
Teaching children to treat and care for animals properly is important on so many levels, as it lays the foundation for a far reaching and self-sustainable practice in the future.
Through implementing grass roots level education – the working animals of Jordan, their owners and communities they help will be afforded a healthier and happier life. As Outreach and Impact Advisor, it is my responsibility to ensure that the programmes we deliver are as effective and impactful as possible. Through funding various outreach programmes, our goal is to generate interest and engagement in humane education in as many communities as possible.
Having been fortunate enough to travel to Jordan and meet Reema and her team and observe the fantastic work they have done – I am firm in my belief that SPANA’s holistic approach to improving the lives of working animals through community outreach, veterinary treatment and children’s education is having a positive impact.
We will continue to work with our education teams and various stakeholders to ensure that we remain at the forefront of humane education abroad.