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INSTIL COMPASSION IN CHILDREN

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Emy Will

Emy Will

Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa. Although I have a doctorate in psychotherapy, my main passion is advocating for nonhuman animal rights. I condemn all cruelty to nonhuman animals and therefore follow a vegan lifestyle. I would like to connect with other animal activists from all over the world. The fur trade is one of the most abhorrent practices on this planet. Innocent animals are subjected to prolonged suffering for a trivial fashion item. As the chairperson of Fur Free SA. we campaign towards ending the global fur industry. This might not happen in my lifetime, but even if I leave one footprint behind, that is one step closer to the goal. This blog is a forum to discuss all aspects of the fur industry. It also raises issues around animal activism in general. Johannesburg is a crazy city and I need to escape from time to time. This photo was taken next to the magnificent Zambezi river.

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Compassion is the emotion that one feels in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion).

If you are reading this post I think you will agree that it is the task of adults to raise compassionate children who will later help reduce suffering in the world.

Heather Howe is not only a compassionate person herself but she is doing a fantastic job for Beauty Without Cruelty to instil values of kindness into children (read more @ https://www.facebook.com/BeautyWithoutCrueltySA/posts/631199903654755)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Beauty without cruelty

Heather does volunteer work on Saturday mornings with children from Philippi, Cape Town, South Africa. 

Authors of the  blog explain that Philippi is a low-income community that “faces serious development challenges in the form of poverty, unemployment, overcrowding, food insecurity, crime and exposure to environmental hazards such as flooding and fire”

( read more @ http://alcoholsouthafrica.wordpress.com/leave-feedback/philippi/ )

These are their photos of Philippi.

Phillipi

Heather’s input is part of the Kwafaku Reading Group project which aims to inculcate compassion through “Humane Education”, which uses story and activities as methods of learning

Although English is not the first language for these children, Heather explains,“We have covered many stories on how to look after animals and exercise compassion”.

Book

A recent  topic was “FUR”!  fur f Heather

In Heather’s words this is how she approached this topic.

~ We imagined that one night we went to sleep and the following morning we awoke to discover that someone had stolen our skin!.  

I posed the questions,  

~ How would we feel? Imagine what animals feel when they are farmed or hunted for their skin and fur.

~ We looked at pictures of animals that do and don’t have fur; learnt that birds have feathers and fish have scales not fur!!

~ We discussed why animals have fur – to keep them safe and warm.

~ We then sang and dramatised the fur song “Don’t steal My Fur”, as shown below.

      

~ I read the story “How the Little Fox saved Her Coat” by Rosa Close, a charming story about how a fox rallied children to teach the elders not to hunt animals for their fur.

~ I declared a Fur Free Day to last forever!

~The children then made their own Fur Free Day posters.     FFD7

THESE ARE SOME OF THE DELIGHTFUL RESULTS:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   FFD1FFD2FFD4FFD

 

Well done Heather Howe clapping-happy-smiley-emoticon

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13 Comments

  1. Lee Hall says:

    This is great, Emy. `Don’t steal my fur` is such a powerful theme, because if we let the animals be, i.e. refused to steal from them, then we shouldn’t need compassion: response to the suffering of others. We spare them from the suffering in the first place rather than pity them later.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emy, do you think that children in Phillippi are easier to teach compassion than children in the U.S., or western country? I don’t know for sure, but I think so. It seems children here are very self-centered. I speak as a parent and grandparent of several children and friends of these children. And though I’ve tried, it seems my influence is minimal at best.

    All the best to the children of Philippi.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emy Will says:

      Thank you, Peter, for asking that thought provoking question and one for which there is no easy answer.
      I think it is harder to instil compassion into impoverished communities, as their priority is on survival (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs presents this concept). I have seen the slogan “pets are meat” and I think that about sums it up for many who are hungry.

      Philippi is part of an area called the Cape Flats, which is rife with gang warfare. Many children only know violence and hence their aspiration is to belong to a gang. As far as I know gang initiation can entail acts of violence towards animals and women.
      For example this typical scenario was reported in the news (Jul 2014) “A family mourning the death of a 22-year old relative has been dealt a double blow after three additional family members were shot dead after a prayer meeting at their home in Philippi on the Cape Flats”

      However, all is not doom and gloom on the Cape Flats, as there are wonderful projects on the go. These include teaching organic horticulture and micro farming. There are also youth projects run by The Amy Biehl Foundation (Amy Biehl was a young American anti-apartheid activist who was killed when visiting the Cape Flats). These youth programs aim to “reduce the levels of crime and violence … to give them opportunities to become future leaders and entrepreneurs in society. This is achieved by providing educational and cultural activities that offer students healthy alternatives to crime, drugs, sex, idleness and negative influences and unlocks their creative talent” (http://www.uthandosa.org/projects).

      If the Cape Flats is an area where ‘angels fear to tread’ then Heather Howe is an angel of note ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, that’s certainly broadened my perspective. Thanks, Emy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Emy Will says:

        I think life on the Cape Flats puts so much into perspective.

        But I understand what you are saying, Peter. “Privileged” kids often seem to be more concerned about material things, than about their impact on the environement. Sad really, as they are the next generation.

        All we can do is contiue to be good role models 🙂

        Like

  3. Anne Rogers says:

    Inspiring blog and very interesting comments. Education – from preschool to tertiary is the way to go.
    Teach a child compassion and the world is already a better place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emy Will says:

      Heartfelt thanks, Anne 🙂
      I totally agree that education of the younger generation is the way to go. Education can take many forms and occur in many settings. Sometimes a simple act of kindness can change a person’s attitude.

      Thank you for your follow and comment.
      Best wishes.
      Emy

      Like

  4. I love your blog so much! You highlight two of my passions, animals and children. I just though another one also, writing! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] memo to MP, which requested improved legislation for animal care” (read more about Heather @ https://emynow.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/instil-compassion-in-children/ ). […]

    Like

  6. […] a memo to MP, which requested improved legislation for animal care” (read more about Heather @ https://emynow.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/instil-compassion-in-children/ ). […]

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