About

What is Humane Education?

Humane Education is about the development of core values beginning with our duty to care for ourselves, each other, the animals that share life’s journey and the environment at large.

What is Humane Education?

Humane Education is about the development of core values beginning with our duty to care for ourselves, each other, the animals that share life’s journey and the environment at large.

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Founder

Louise van der Merwe has dedicated 30 years to the introduction of humane education in schools around South Africa and beyond.

The Caring Classrooms programme was presented to an international audience at the Summer School of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics in July 2019. The presentation was made by The Humane Education Trust’s managing trustee Louise van der Merwe and Aleks Tasic: Director: Education and Technology.

She is the recipient of three awards:

2003

Activist of the Year Award presented by the International Fund for Animal Welfare

2011

The Feather Award presented by First for Women

2013

The City of Cape Town’s World Environment Day Celebration Award for “outstanding contribution and commitment to humane education and environmental awareness.”

More than 35 humane education resources produced by The Humane Education Trust are now selected for inclusion in Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM) by the Department of Education in South Africa.

Quote from a Principal

“In the months that learners in Grade 7HS received humane education every week, their marks for Life Orientation improved by a full 20% which reflects their amazingly improved ability to express themselves, to read, write and discuss issues intelligently, and to think creatively. What humane education achieved for these learners is remarkable.”

Tony Austen, principal of Golden Grove Primary School, 2012

Excerpts of learner quotes

“I think that owning a pet is a privilege and that people should be screened before being allowed to own a pet.”

Nuha Jaffer, Grade 7, Golden Grove

“Right now we live in a world of people who think of animals as meat and as ‘things’, and people don’t realise that if they treat their animals badly, there are no winners. Not themselves. Not the animals.”

Layla Hendricks, Grade 7, Golden Grove

“A good way to earn pocket money is to take dogs for walks every day of the week because maybe their owners are away at work all day. You can earn about R50 a week like this and the dogs love it.”

Adam Pillay, Grade 7, Golden Grove

“If I could change something in my life, I would have all children and animals safe and I would have stood up for my rights.”

Amy Kannemeyer, Grade 7, Golden Grove

“I feel that the government sees animals as meat and that they exist for no other purpose than for us to use and eat. This is why people tend to abuse animals. People just accept the government’s attitude and believe it.”

Kwezi Mdana, Grade 7, Golden Grove

“I understand that those chickens live in cages because their eggs are cheaper somehow. But it is so hard to believe that they have such small cages and they live in there their whole lives. They are living creatures and I think we should treat all living creatures the same as we treat others, and when I say that, I mean treat them in a good way, not in a bad way.”

Lailah Field, Grade 7, Golden Grove

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