Children want to do what is right

Dear Editor,

This is a follow-up to my letter of April 6 about a dog named Brown Girl who found a school, Smith Memorial Primary, to call home. In passing the school one day I saw how kind some kids were treating Brown Girl so I decided to ask the Headmistress, Donna John, permission to give a talk to the students at one of their assemblies. The Headmistress readily agreed and two weeks ago I gave a talk. While the weather conditions were not the best, the students were eager to listen and look at pictures of animals. My talk was mostly about why they should not litter, the meaning and importance of spaying dogs, speaking out against cruelty, rules in caring for a pet (leave water, feed every day, don’t tie in hot sun, etc), why they should adopt rather than buy pets, and why they should never buy or harm wildlife.

On June 5 I took some food for Brown Girl; it was around 7.30 am when I entered the compound and saw a kid run away and disappear around the school building. When he returned he was carrying Brown Girl’s water bowl – it was clean and full of water. I gave him a high five and told him how proud of him I was. One of his fellow students was eating some food from a plastic bag, I asked the boy what he was going to do with the plastic bag when he finished eating, and he said, “Put it in the bin!” I gave him a smile and another high five.

20140608childEditor, kids are thirsty for knowledge and want to do what is right and be helpful. I’m always amazed at their ability to learn. I know my short and simple talk made an impact on many of them because of the questions they were asking after the talk.

When it comes to littering and mistreatment of animals I think too many adults have forgotten what they learned as children. Maybe we should all read the interesting book: All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten. It is not too late, every adult in Guyana has the potential to become a role model and it doesn’t take much, just a lot of thought and then a little time to sit and talk with children about what is the right thing to do.

My thanks go out to Headmistress John for allowing me to share some time with her children. I hope to go back to her school to have a more in depth conversation with the older students.

Yours faithfully,

Syeada Manbodh

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