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During visits by officials from Melitopol to the city of Kharkov, they learned about the involvement of Naturewatch Foundation and the help and support we provided in order to help Kharkov bring about permanent, sustainable change to reduce the city’s stray animal population. These visits helped the Melitopol officials understand that only by addressing the root of the problem will they safeguard the sustainability of their programme to reduce stray animal populations in their city for the long-term.
Following communications with Melitopol City Council, it was clear they were keen to implement an education programme for young people to teach them to respect animals as sentient beings and how to be a responsible owner. Oleksandr Bogachyk, our Ukraine representative responsible for our educational work in this country, made immediate contact inviting the city and surrounding regions to participate in our programme.
Our two Ukraine representatives, Oleksandr Bogachyk and Natalie Sorokopud visited Melitopol and made a presentation at a conference held in the city on 26th January 2016. Their presentation covered: the fact that removing dogs from the streets is just the tip of the iceberg – simply a quick fix; the need to adopt a comprehensive, humane and sustainable programme that also addresses the source of the problem if they want to permanently reduce the number of stray animals in Melitopol; the source of the problem being irresponsible pet ownership and lack of information/education. The opportunity was taken to question the city officials about the city’s proposed stray animal control programme and advise on improvements.
Following the conference in Melitopol, Oleksandr confirmed that the city is keen to be involved in our school education programme and felt confident the key officials he’d met with would do everything possible to ensure its success.
Two-Day Training Course: The role of humane education in the educational process
Held on 11th & 12th May 2016 in the city of Melitopol, Ukraine.
We partnered with Melitopol City Council, Melitopol Ecology and Social Technologies Institute of Open International University of Humane Development and the city’s animal shelter to hold a two-day training course for 25 biology teachers, class teachers and children’s centre managers.
The training course, led by Naturewatch Foundation representative Oleksandr Bogachyk, covered: an introduction to Humane Education (HE) and its history in Ukraine, what it is in a wider context, interaction of humans and animals; animal welfare concepts, basic life processes, five freedoms, animal welfare education, welfare and humane attitude to animals, ways to implement HE topics into teaching activities, psychological aspects of being a responsible pet owner, rules of safe behaviour around dogs.
During the two-day course, delegates also participated in practical tasks, took part in discussions, and made individual work plans for one month and the first year. Each delegate also received a copy of the training course booklet, our HE Teacher Pack (3 books), a set of worksheets for use in the classroom, and several supporting booklets.
The training course successfully: presented our education materials to Melitopol teachers enabling them to include HE elements into their lessons, making it clear that all materials and examples meet the needs and requirements of the Ukrainian Educational system; aquainted teachers with theoretical and practical HE aspects; and trained teachers to use HE topics within their professional activity. We will provide ongoing assistance to ensure our programme is fully implemented into the city’s education system.