Children are the future and through them we hope to see a more humane and kinder world for all living beings. It is for this reason that one of the main goals of Animal Welfare Karpathos is the education of children and youth regarding animal welfare matters. The purpose of AWK is not only to actively care for animals in need (short term goal), but to also improve the welfare of animals throughout the island over time (long term goal).
With that in mind, Animal Welfare Karpathos participated in “volunteer week” (December 2021) at the Second Elementary School of Karpathos following an invitation by the school's principal, Mrs. Kalliopi Ioannidi. This was a visit originally discussed with the schools in April 2020, during the strategic planning of the organization, prior to its official founding in August 2020. However, due to the pandemic, a visit to the school was not possible until now.
During the volunteer week, the children learned about various associations and organizations of the island, and ways in which they can become active and compassionate citizens. Animal Welfare Karpathos’ participation was split into two visits: the first one involved an in person visit by board members Ms. Luisa Ricaldone and Mrs. Maria Pavlakos, along with a zoom presentation by veterinarian Dr. Anna Katogiritis. The second part involved a field trip to the veterinary clinic of Dr. Elias Pochos.
During the original presentation, Dr. Katogiritis talked to the students about the basic needs of animals and ways in which they can help them. She encouraged them to share stories of their pets or animals they may have helped. To everyone’s pleasant surprise, 3 students had rescued strays and helped them recover from their illnesses with the help of their parents. The students shared the stories and the wonderful outcomes of their volunteer work. The veterinarian later talked about the species of animals that can be found in Karpathos and what the students can do if they find injured animals in need. Before the first visit ended, the class exchanged ideas for future projects with the volunteers of AWK, such as the painting of dog homes and their participation in spay/neuter programs.
An in person visit to a veterinary clinic, and…meeting Snoopy!
The second part of the AWK’s action involved the collaboration with Dr. Elias Pochos, who enthusiastically welcomed the students to his clinic. Dr. Pochos spoke to the kids about veterinary medicine, how he collaborates with Animal Welfare Karpathos and what they can do to help if they see injured animals. Alongside the veterinarian was Snoopy! A dog who was rescued this past summer and nurtured back to health by AWK volunteers prior to getting adopted. Snoopy was excited to participate as he loves attention. He happily sat to be examined by Dr. Pochos, who explained to the kids what a veterinary exam involves.
Animal Welfare Karpathos was extremely pleased with the enthusiasm of all the kids and the outcome of this collaboration. We would like to thank the school for the invitation, as well as Dr. Elias Pochos for the excellent collaboration. We are hoping for more opportunities such as this one and we congratulate the teachers and the principal of the school for these initiatives!
- The board members of AWK who visited the school wore masks throughout the duration of the visit and had a negative COVID-19 rapid test prior to the visit.
- Snoopy is a healthy, fully vaccinated dog.