Little Footprints ITE College West: Spurring Empathy, Saving Community Cats
As a response to the animal abuse and abandonment cases in Singapore, Little Footprints ITE College West embarked on their Start Small Dream Big project, ‘A Paw in Need’. The preschool felt that there was a dire need to educate the rising, new generation on the salience of caring for community cats.
After surveying the students, the school found that some held negative perceptions about these stray felines. Therefore, they set off to launch an activity that would enable the kids to feel more empathy and sympathy for such animals.
With the help of recyclables, students were enlisted to create and beautify makeshift homes for the stray animals. The children from the different age groups had to work together with their peers and exercise their imaginations for this project. Brainstorming with both their teachers and parents on how to make the home more durable to the elements.
Subsequently, after completion, these houses would be placed around different community areas and serve as a form of inspiration to anyone who might feel motivated to make their own.
Additionally, the school is also helping to raise donations for The Cat Welfare Society in Singapore, by encouraging parents to purchase cat food.
The preschool hopes to see a shift in the current anthropocentric mindset most people possess. There are signs of hope – more students believe that regardless of whether an animal has an owner, they deserve kindness and good treatment.
Kindergarten 1 English Teacher, Tan Jia Hui, had similar hope and positivity about the COVID-19 pandemic, “This COVID-19 situation is hard on all of us, but as long as we do our own part, we will push through. Just like the SSDB slogan: ‘No one can do everything, but everyone can do something’, I think as long as we all do our part, we will succeed.”