WORLD ANIMAL DAY 2011
FOUR PAWS hosts underprivileged children for World Animal Day
Excitement and anticipation was tangible in the air this week, as 70 learners from the Bohlokong Township arrived at the FOUR PAWS big cat sanctuary LIONSROCK to celebrate World Animal Day. The learners, who have been regular students of animal welfare at the FOUR PAWS Education Programme running in Bohlokong since March this year, came to visit the rescued big cats and see firsthand what goes into the lifelong care of animals previously abused and neglected.
The children were taken on a tour of the sanctuary, visiting the lions at feeding time. They all watched in amazement as the lions gnawed at their meal. Their guide provided a wealth of information to the youngsters who have never had the opportunity to see wildlife. “These youngsters are the custodians of our future” said Mrs. Natasha van der Westhuizen, the Education coordinator for FOUR PAWS, “it is vital that they understand that animals are sentient beings and develop love and respect for them.”
This group of children has been dedicated to learning about animal welfare for more than six months and each week after school they have faithfully arrived on time to learn new lessons at the local library where the programme is held.
After the walk and lessons from the guide, the children were treated to games and a surprise party. Silence filled the air as they entered the party room and then joy erupted. Singing, dancing and laughter ensued. Some of the learners performed poetry and prayer dedicated to the animals, for who they wish to give a voice. “We are very proud of the dedication and willingness by these children to take ownership of the future of our animals, despite their own hardships” said Natasha “They really want a world without suffering and there is a kinship with the animals”
Each learner received a certificate of attendance, presented by Mr Beer Peters from the Netherlands, a long standing Board member of FOUR PAWS. Overwhelmed by fun and excitement the day came to an end and the learners made their way home. It was a truly memorable day and a real celebration of a day dedicated to the animals.
FOUR PAWS wishes to thank the sponsors of this event for making this event possible:
Mashinini Enterprise Trust – for sponsoring the safe and timely transport of the learners to LIONSROCK
First National Bank – provided volunteers to assist in the care of the children for the day
Lukas Bukhali – regular FOUR PAWS volunteer who is always dedicated to the children
For enquiries about the FOUR PAWS Education Programme or to learn how to support the programme please contact:
Name : Natasha van der Westhuizen
Email : email@example.com
Office : 0027 58 303 1651