The Stray (Ο Adespotos)

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The Problem

The sight of stray animals in the streets of my country (Greece) has been a serious concern for me since I was a child. My involvement in animal welfare organizations further reinforced my conviction that the most effective ways to deal with this issue are education and awareness. My concerns also found their way through my work in creative writing and children literature. Inspired by my own classroom in the kindergarten where I work, I finally came up with the idea of creating an educational program which will raise students’ awareness on the issue of stray animals. I started doing some research in the field of environmental education and then expanded into animal ethics. For the first time in my life, I realized that stray animals are only a small category of animals that suffer from all kinds of unethical human exploitation, while other categories of animals, such as livestock and animals used in laboratories remain in obscurity. On the other hand, stray animals is an issue that cannot be easily neglected because it forms part of children’s everyday life. I decided to focus on stray animals hoping to promote their ethical treatment and reinforce a respect towards them.

Our Plan

The program is called "The Stray" (Adespotos in Greek) and the protagonist is a stray dog. The dog is a fingerpuppet that we use in the kindergarten and it symbolizes every stray animal on the streets of the city.The cartoonist Vaggelis Papavasiliou has also helped us with the program and he designed the picture of “The Stray”. The children in my kindergarten classroom have named themselves “the buddies of The Stray”. The program lasts throughout the year, and the Stray is involved in children's daily lives. Through the children the parents are involved too, which I consider as the best way for spreading the program’s goals.It is a cross-curricular program that is implemented through literary activities, visits to vets, contact with people active in the field of animal welfare (clubs), videos with animal content, as well as creating videos which raise awareness over the responsibilities of adopting of an animal. One of the program actions is "The Bucket of the Stray" This is the reuse of the popular package of one kilo of yoghurt as a collection of family food leftovers and their promotion to stray animals.

Themes Addressed

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    Pets & Companion Animals
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The Benefit

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