Using humane education for youth to build a better future for Nigeria’s animals


Humane Global Network is an organization in Nigeria working to educate young people aged 5-19 about what animal welfare is all about. We recognize that in today’s society, especially in Nigeria, it can take a sensational story or event to get people thinking about animal welfare. Through our organization, many people, especially kids in Africa, now know that animals suffer a great deal on factory farms, in laboratories and in the wild.

Before people will change their lifestyles, they need to be taught about the ways they currently enable animal suffering and why that matters. Today that in Nigeria, at least 90 out of 100 people are meat eaters, if not 98. Our organization has discovered that many captive animals in this country are kept in deplorable conditions, dragging themselves though their own waste, kept outside without shelter, left to suffer horribly from untreated wounds, hunger, and so on. The movement for animal welfare in Nigeria needs to gain traction, because these animals have emotions and desires and deserve to be protected.

Humane education is the most sustainable way of building a future for animals in Nigeria. Our humane education program is geared towards helping children embrace their natural curiosity and love for animals while also fostering a sense of respect, compassion and kindness for all life.

Our organization, Humane Global Network, is the only humane education organisation in Nigeria. Together our team is raising awareness about animal welfare in West Africa. We’ve brought our humane education programs to many schools and communities. In a country where animal welfare is a newer concept, education helps change people’s negative attitudes and behaviors towards animals. It helps people to understand that animals are sentient beings who deserve care, protection, compassion and respect.
.If we are truly ready to make a real difference for animals, we must begin by equipping the younger generation, who will go on to influence generations to come, with knowledge about the welfare and rights of animals. We are passionate about teaching the children and students to be respectful, kind and compassionate to animals, and to understand the human-animal bond. We therefore offer free, fun, interactive and educational animal welfare lessons and activities. We want to reach and inspire more schools in Nigeria and in other countries in the future.

When we conduct our humane education sessions with children, we ask these questions: Do you think of animals like furniture, often unnoticed and treated without consideration? What must it be like for the dogs chained instead of being allowed to stop and sniff, or for the birds or rabbits going mad in their cages? We urge people to make sure that they are animal-friendly and to stop being cruel to animals. We use evidence from research on animal suffering and brutality and how it can be ended. We teach about how every year hundreds of thousands of animals are used for medical experiments and testing of household cleaning products and cosmetics. Our position is against the glorification of cruel activities such as bull fighting, circuses, performing animal acts, horse and dog racing, and hunting. We also collaborate with international groups to run campaigns against animal suffering in Nigeria.

Along with our organization’s work to educate children, we also recognize the need for our government, other organizations and the media to create awareness about the importance of animal welfare. Improving the lives of animals and reducing their suffering is a collective responsibility.

Featured image: a boy herding cattle in Nigeria. Image credit World Bank Photo Collection, CC BY-SA 3.0.

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About Author

Chiemeka Chiedozie is an Animal activist, Campaigner, Humane Educator and the founder of the Humane Global Network, a humane organization registered in Nigeria to promote animal welfare and vegetarianism in schools. Their seminars in schools have been carried out in over 200 schools, both in Nigeria and in other countries.

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