Hun­dreds vol­un­teer at SPCA for Man­dela Day

Grocott's Mail - - OUTSIDE - By KATHRYN CLEARY

An­i­mals jumped for joy on 25 July, as more than 300 local pupils vis­ited the Gra­ham­stown SPCA in hon­our of Man­dela Day. Learn­ers took part in var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties that taught them the im­por­tance of en­vi­ron­men­tal­ism, an­i­mal care and sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture.

“To­day has been all about com­mu­nity en­gage­ment, which is what the SPCA is all about”, said Man­ager, Mark Thomas.

Pupils from PJ Olivier Ho­er­skool and St An­drew’s Prep came in their num­bers, bringing do­na­tions of food and blan­kets, as well as their smiles.

Hen­drien Coetzee, a teacher from PJ, ac­com­pa­nied her Grade 6 Life Skills pupils to teach them more about an­i­mal care. “I thought it was a good idea to come here and see what is the pur­pose, the his­tory. [The SPCA] must tell my chil­dren what is the pur­pose, what are they al­lowed to do, and how can we help the com­mu­nity.”

“We also have to serve,” said Coetzee. “We can’t just sit back and re­ceive, we have to serve as well.”

Ed­ward Gaybba of Red­ed­ward Gaybba of Red­beard Per­ma­cul­ture spoke to each group of learn­ers about the im­por­tance of sus­tain­able farm­ing.

“Where does wa­ter come from?”, he asked them. One child replied, “From tanks!”.

“What do veg­eta­bles eat?” he then asked.

Much to the chil­dren’s sur­prise, they learned that veg­eta­bles ‘eat’ an­i­mal poop... and they eat the veg­eta­bles!

“One of the things I try and in­cul­cate in the chil­dren of to­day is to show them that you must al­ways ques­tion the ed­u­ca­tion that you are pro­vided. We find more and more ev­ery­day that it’s half-truths, it’s not the whole story,” said Gaybba.

High­lights from the day in­cluded feed­ing the friendly don­keys ap­ples and car­rots, as well as read­ing books to some very at­ten­tive dogs and cats.

“It’s so im­por­tant for us to work with the gen­er­a­tion of the fu­ture as well as the gen­er­a­tion of cur­rent times,” said Thomas. “We’re con­stantly deal­ing with mis­takes that have been made as a re­sult of cul­tural di­vides, and that causes a huge amount of prob­lems and stig­ma­ti­sa­tion for an­i­mals.”

“Over­all I’ve been very pleased with to­day,” he said.

Photo: Kathryn Cleary

A St An­drew’s Prep pupil gets to know one of the SPCA don­keys.

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