Posts Tagged ‘Service learning’

Another Service Project! Maine Based PuppyRescueMission

March 17, 2013

My last post focused on the Tacugama Chimp Sanctuary in Sierra Leone. Just today I read about another project that would definitely appeal to middle grades students because it is about bringing to the U.S. dogs and cats that our soldiers in combat overseas have adopted. What makes is really cool is that its chief organizer is a Mainer, Anna Cannan from Ft. Kent!

Anna began PuppyRescueMission because her boyfriend, stationed in Afghanistan, wanted to find a way to bring home a puppy of a stray dog who had alerted soldiers that a stranger was nearby.  The man turned out to be a suicide bomber, and the U.S. soldiers were determined to take care of the dogs who saved their lives. Long story short, Anna began the PuppyRescueMission to raise money to bring this dog and others to the US so they could be with the soldiers when they too came home.

It’s very expensive to transport these animals to their new homes so the organization is continuously in fund raising mode.  Students looking for a service project would find this a worthwhile endeavor.

Anna first started a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/puppyrescuemission?fref=ts

Screen Shot 2013-03-17 at 4.31.52 PM

The organization now also has a store and a blog:

After investigating these sites, individuals, homerooms, advisory groups, teams, or an entire school might be inspired to get involved or create some other type of service project using this one as a model. Anna Cannan has certainly demonstrated that one person can make a difference with hard work and ingenuity–she sounds like a good role model to me!  It is also an opportunity to help students become savvy consumers of the Internet by having them research the reliability of the site and the percentage of funds raised going to the actual cause–two habits students need to develop in order to make good decisions about getting involved with organizations/charities they read about online.

Reference:

Fitzpatrick, K. (2013) “This is my way to say ‘Thank you’ to our heroes!” Woman’s World. 3/18/13. p. 26.

Looking for a Service Learning Project? Tacugama May Be the Answer!

March 2, 2013

Watching us

  • Orphaned or abused chimpanzees,
  • A sanctuary that has survived 10 years of civil war.
  • A desperate need for money.

These are the ingredients of a service learning project that will intrigue and inspire middle school students.  On a recent trip to Sierra Leone in West Africa I visited Tacugama, a sanctuary for chimpanzees.  Their goal is to reintroduce the chimps back into the wild, a long and expensive process.

Over 20,000 chimpanzees roamed the forests of Sierra Leone in the 1970’s, but now there are only 3,000.  There are a variety of reasons why the numbers have dropped drastically:

  • Their habitat has shrunk.
  • They are captured for medical research or to be sold as pets.
  • They are considered ‘bush meat” and when times are tough they are hunted for food.
  • They are highly susceptible to human diseases like HIV.

All most ready for release!

The Sanctuary rescues chimps that are often in dire circumstances.  Baby chimps are adorable and so human-like that people often want them as pets.  However, a full grown chimp has 5 times the physical strength of a man, so the cuddly baby grows into a unruly adolescent that can wreck a home in minutes and into an adult that is dangerous.  Hence they are often chained and caged under deplorable conditions.  The Tacugama staff works hard to rehabilitate these chimps so they can live free. Click on this link to read about the history of the Sanctuary: http://www.tacugama.com/history.html.

 What faces mean

It takes about $1000 to support one chimpanzee for a year. However, smaller donations are welcomed.   Schools, teams and/or advisory groups might find supporting this haven for battered and endangered chimpanzees a worthwhile project.  More information about supporting Tacugama can be found at this link: http://www.tacugama.com/support.html

Finally, there is a blog that students may find interesting (http://tacugama.wildlifedirect.org/).  The posts explain what is happening with individual chimps; the photos are wonderful!  Readers will learn a lot about chimps as well as the Sanctuary.  We often never know what inspires our students to make specific career and life choices — reading about the chimps of Tacugama may just be a catalyst for future decisions related to international travel, non-profit work, or veterinary work!

Watching


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