Global Strays’ educational workshops engage youth with a unique curriculum teaching the foundations of animal welfare. Our shelter partners saw a great need for animal welfare knowledge in the underserved communities surrounding their shelters. As a result, Global Strays Educational Program was born to foster better and more humane relationships between community members and animals for owned pets, strays, and working animals.
Global Strays believes that education is the best way to cultivate long-lasting change. Our full-day workshops engage youth in informative lessons, reinforcement activities, and creative projects that follow the workshop’s theme. Our curriculum is continuously expanding to address the educational needs that our local staff observe in their communities while considering the broader cultural environment. We strive to focus on the connection between the well-being of animals, our fellow humans, and the environment. Known as the One Health Model, animals, people, and the environment are all connected, and our workshops explore the importance of all three.
The Five Animal Liberties
Our current educational workshops are on the
Liberties of Animal Welfare.
Here are two workshops that took place recently:
Topic: Liberty 2 of Animal Welfare, Freedom from Discomfort
The lesson addressed four points:
- The requirements a shelter should meet to be considered humane.
- The level of cleanliness a shelter should uphold.
- The necessity to provide access to natural light.
- A soft and comfortable area to lay and rest.
Here, the students were listening to the lesson while sitting on the floor. The instructor asked the class what they would like to change about their current situation during the lesson. The students quickly said they would like to sit in the chairs, which then began the conversation about the need to provide a soft and comfortable area for pets to lay and rest.
Here is a student drawing things that make her feel comfortable and safe in her own house. This worksheet highlighted that many animals enjoy the same comforts they do and that they are entitled to feel comfortable and safe in their shelters (homes).
For this workshop’s project, students were given material and told to use what they learned about basic shelter requirements to create their own shelter. Then, after building the shelters, the students got inside them to test their durability: they were shaken to imitate the wind, and water was poured on the roof to mimic rain. After that, to test adequate space, students had to turn around, sit down, turn their heads from side to side, and stand up.
This workshop addressed Liberty One of Animal Welfare: Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
Students learned how to provide proper sustenance to their pets and identify when an animal needs food or water.
Students started the lesson with a warm-up by looking at different photos of dogs and identifying how they felt. This warmup created empathy by registering that animals felt emotions and allowed students to recognize that they can observe what their animals may need by visually observing them.
After the warmup, students had an interactive lesson that addressed these main points :
- Water should be available to a pet at all times, including at night.
- It is important to know what types of food our pets need and provide them with the best quality food possible.
- Do not feed animals certain foods that could be dangerous to them.
- Feed your animal at least twice a day and always give them fresh water.
Shortly after, the instructor discussed what foods are good for certain animals and what foods are not. They also discussed how often an animal should eat and the importance of feeding animals that cannot provide for themselves. After this, they played reinforcement games about what animals can and cannot eat.
After the lesson, students completed two projects.
Project #1: Students made dog treats that they could take home to their pets. The treats were made out of rolled oats, peanut butter (without xylitol), and water.
Here are some students making their homemade dog treats. This was a fun activity to explain that there are alternative foods that animals can eat if families cannot afford traditional store-bought pet food. The most important thing is to try to provide animals with food and to make sure it’s safe for them to eat.
Here are students with their finished dog treats. Students overwhelmingly gave feedback that they loved making the dog treats and were excited to take them home to their pets.
Project #2: Students made a visual presentation on one of the four points they learned.
This student drew a dog in its dog house with a water bowl next to it. She had learned that dogs should have access to clean water 24 hours a day, even during the night and early morning.
Older students created posters in groups that illustrated that animals should not suffer from a lack of food or water.
More highlights from our workshops…
“When you ask the kids what the 1st Liberty is, they yell it [out] loud! And then the same for the 2nd Liberty. They remember everything! It’s amazing!”
Global Strays Educational Coordinator
“The children have learned a lot about the importance of spaying & neutering, vaccination, the responsibility of having a pet, and the respect they should have for the life of all beings.”
Maria Fernanda Pacho Galindez
Educational Coordinator Colombia – Fundación Pacto Animal
A presentation was given covering the basics of owning and caring for pets. This included the importance of feeding, exercise, grooming, training, spaying, and neutering, and veterinary care. We also introduced the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, which teaches that animals should be free from hunger, discomfort, and pain; and be free to express normal behavior without fear or distress.
What did you learn today?
¨Not to hit dogs, and that if we see a dog outside, we can bring them into our homes, tuck them in with a warm, soft blanket, love them and take care of the dog’s babies.” -Michell
Students created projects highlighting an animal and its normal behavior in its natural habitat.
The one above reads:
The dolphin: Swims a lot, comes to the surface, eats fish, and is friendly.
After each lesson students are given different projects to reinforce what they have learned. For this assignment, students had to react to what they would do if they saw that their dog was visibly ill. This student responded with ¨I would take it to the vet to know what the dog has and to have it in good health.¨