Seventy principals, assistant principals, counselors, and teachers representing 13 schools attended by Moslem, Christian, and Druze Arab students participated in a 2-day conference in April sponsored by CHAI/Hakol Chai, entitled “Expanding the Circle of Compassion.” At the event, Hakol Chai introduced its pilot humane education project, set to begin in participating schools in September.
“This project provides us with a tremendous opportunity to create a positive shift in consciousness in students and educators toward respect and compassion for all living beings,” said Rae Sikora, who led the conference. Ms. Sikora is an international humane education expert, author, and co-founder of The Institute for Humane Education and of Plant Peace Daily. She was also the co-developer of the first Humane Education Certification program and the first Master of Education in Humane Education program at a U.S. university.
Evaluation questionnaires submitted by conference participants indicated a positive response to the material taught and willingness to incorporate the values presented into their classes. Most noted that before the seminar, they did not care about animals. However, as a result of the videos, PowerPoint slideshows, and activities presented at the event, their attitudes changed, and they now wish to teach their students respect and caring for animals. Many also wrote that they are now willing to allow their own children to adopt animals.
Following are some of the participants’ comments:
“This program offers pupils the opportunity to create a better and more tolerant world.”
“I am willing to fight for the cause that animals will not be harmed and will be allowed to live in peace and not subjected to torture. I am no longer indifferent to this subject….This program will contribute to creating a better society and to world peace.”
“I was unaware of the importance of humane education and the possibility of creating change in students and in society in general. This program has had an impact on my awareness, on the way I will treat animals, and on my lifestyle. The activities and knowledge we acquired here created change, and as a teacher, I am committed to passing on what I learned to my students. I see it as mandatory to transfer to my pupils the knowledge I acquired about moral problems related to how animals and how all living beings are treated.”
Child psychologists agree that instilling humane attitudes in children is key to creating moral, contributing citizens and a compassionate society. Hakol Chai, which will supervise the implementation of the program in Arab schools, will also sponsor a conference for teachers in Hebrew-speaking schools in Israel.
We need your help to implement this groundbreaking initiative to get humane education into Arab
QCA congratulates CHAI on this significant initiative aimed at creating and fostering compassion in the young.
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