Outreach and Impact Advisor, Kate Scruton, reflects on the ICHE teacher training course and her visit to Kenya

Outreach and Impact Advisor, Kate Scruton, reflects on the ICHE teacher training course and her visit to Kenya – here are her thoughts on the week.

Nairobi is a city of complete contrasts. From the intense hustle and bustle of the streets to the stunning National Safari park where you can see giraffe and other big game against the backdrop of city skyscrapers – I was amazed at the vibrancy and beauty as soon as I arrived.

Kate Scruton works with other teachers in Kenya to develop humane education materials

The SPANA education team were in Nairobi, to deliver a teacher training course, called the International Certificate of Humane Education. The course is designed to enhance teacher’s skills in developing children’s positive values with respect to animal welfare, environmental and social issues.

The five day course aims to empower teachers to teach child centred lessons that are engaging and make positive differences to children and their communities. By connecting real life situations to the children’s personal experiences a prosocial outlook is achieved. Humane education is about encouraging empathy and an understanding of the need for compassion and respect of people, animals and the environment and recognising the connections among these.

The course was a fascinating experience, what struck me most was how similar teachers in Kenya are to teachers in the UK. We all share the same passions and frustrations, although the Kenyan problems are perhaps a little more extreme. Despite this, the Kenyan teachers willingly give up their free time to run Promoting Animal Welfare (PAWS) clubs in schools to develop the children’s understanding of humane education.

An ICHE participant receives an award for completing the training course

The training course was a complete success with all the teachers not only passing the course but leaving enthusiastic and eager to spread the word about humane education.

SPANA works in partnership with the African Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) to support 40 schools with membership of more than 2,000 children. We hope this will continue to expand as humane education expands across Africa, paving the way for self-sustainable practices that reach even more children.

I am firm in my belief that SPANAs holistic approach to improve 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 and I look forward to seeing how we can start to change communities’ attitudes to animals for the better.

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