we’ve mentioned to you that we have an Education program, but we have never really told you what it is all about. It is something we’ve been fighting for 3 years now, and we have had some opportunities to put it in action, but still – in so long a time – it hasn’t become something we do on a regular, planned basis. Mostly because we cannot get through the “Education” Direction at our Municipality.
There is nothing more important to our cause than to teach the kids to be different: kinder, more responsible and better informed when it comes to living with dogs. Multiple studies have already proven that to change an attitude the best age would be between 8 and 11 – before that it is too early, after it – too late to change the mindset of a person. More so – through the knowledge the children bring home the whole family’s attitude can be improved. For this reason – any respectable organization that is really seeking change works not only to save the dogs, but to educate the kids as well.
We started by creating a lesson and a booklet to go with it. Our Chairlady Nadia Stancheva is also a teacher by education and that allowed her to really understand the depths of requirements and possibilities that our education system provides for such a lesson. Such is the “Human and nature” class for children in the first years of education.
After she read all sorts of programs from all over the world and with the kind help of our friends at SOS Dogs Oradea who are already educating the children in Romania and BULGED print, Nadia created a booklet that is both unusual and much appreciated by the children. She called it “Dogs, dogs!” and it is to be used during the lesson and be left with the kids.
CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR BOOKLET
(As you will see – it is already time to change it as it bears the details of our former Bogrov shelter. If you work in a printing company or just want to help us financially for a second print of the booklet – please send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org)
The aim of the lesson is both to introduce the children to responsible dog ownership and also make neutering more popular, show the kids what to do if they ever encounter an unfriendly dog outside and in general – to create a more informed and responsible attitude towards animals.
Our first lesson was held at School 119 back in 2011. We’ve also been to Pancharevo, Lozen, the Anglo-American School, in the Center etc… We really wanted to make this program permanent for the whole of Sofia Municipality, and we even got support from the Sofia mayor – Mrs.Fandakova, who as a teacher quickly understood our point and wanted it carry it out.
Unfortunately, our education system is probably the most rigid and hard to change – it became impossible to make a schedule with the “Education” direction for the school visits, obstructions were made for a dog to visit the schools (although all papers and health guarantee are provided by us), the requirements to us as a team were impossible to fulfill. We do not have the resources to carry out such a grand endeavor without financial aid – each of us is already working at least for 3 people, we don’t see how we can add yet another career to our characteristics and do the job well. We need more people whom we will train to be trainees, but cannot afford them at this point.
For all those reasons – our education program was put on “hold”. Our lessons are carried out sporadically – when there is a school principal, a teacher or a parent who is interested and takes on the organization on the spot. And there are many – we don’t know how they hear of it – perhaps it’s the word of mouth, or it could be that it’s just the right time for it, or maybe there simply are people who like us understand how important such a lesson is, but anyway – there is great interest in it.
Last week we were visiting the children of 23 School. Our lectors Nadya and Zevscho were greeted warmly and with a great excitement. The lessons included a total of 170 children from 3-rd and 4-th grade – a really wonderful experience.
It was a mother of one of the children – Mrs.Desislava Vitanova who organized everything on the spot with the school team – a flawless organization, our hats go off. And the kids had even raised funds amongst themselves – the dogs got 110 leva from them and another 50 leva “from Kotzeto’s dad” – we are much obliged.
Thank you dear parents, teachers and children for your enthusiasm and participation!
What you did is of great importance and meaning, you should be proud to be the first in this endeavor! And let us hope that one day all of our children, not only in Sofia will have a chance to hear such a lesson, so they can also have the strength and knowledge to change the world they will inherit.