SPANA’s Animal Welfare clubs have a profound impact of thousands of Jordanian children each year. Read the story of how one man took inspiration from the charity’s humane education programme as a young boy, paving the way for his work helping animals across Jordan.
When SPANA humane education clubs first opened in Jordan in 1992, young Ibrahem Sibhe Al Alaween regularly travelled from his rural village to the capital, Amman, to attend classes in our SPANA education centre. There, surrounded by guinea pigs, rabbits, donkeys and other animals, the little boy took his first steps in developing a lifelong love of animals.
Ibrahem had grown up around working animals in the countryside where his family used donkeys for farming. Although Ibrahem liked the farm animals, he joined dozens of children who had no experience of handling animals handling and were terrified. Our SPANA educators patiently encouraged these children with books, lessons, games, music, and the opportunity to handle animals with care. The teachers taught them that, like humans, animals can experience pain and emotions and deserve compassion.
Ibrahem loved these lessons, recalling:
SPANA teachers used to visit us at the school to teach us about animal welfare and to help us to improve animals’ lives – I loved it.
Thanks in part to these courses, Ibrahem was inspired to continue to pursue his passion for animals. The animal handling classes taught him how to develop trust with animals and appreciate the importance of keeping them safe, healthy and happy.
When Ibrahem graduated from high school, he went on to study for a degree in veterinary medicine and, after graduating in 2013, returned to the very same village where he grew up to open a clinic. There, Ibrahem is a respected member of the community who teaches locals how to treat their pets and working animals with care and empathy.
With time and patience, this message of compassion will continue to spread across Jordan with help of people like Ibrahem and the SPANA humane education classes.
Today, there are 85 Animal Welfare Clubs across Jordan with workshops and classes running in 180 schools across the country, reaching more than 2,500 children every year. In SPANA’s education centre in Amman, children have the opportunity to visit our animal handling centre and develop a love and appreciation for animals that will last a lifetime.