By Victoria Hill – 1 week volunteer
All children love to sing, dance, learn, and play, no matter where in the world they live. And it is no different for the engaging children located in this little village that has captured the hearts and minds of Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary. Not only does the sanctuary focus on rebuilding the ecosystem surrounding wild elephants but also the people living in the surrounding village who have had a long tradition of establishing a respectful and delicate balance with the elephants who occupy the same forest that surround their homes. As a volunteer with Kindred Spirit, not only do you participate in the research ongoing focused on improving the lives of elephants, but also activities that promote a shared learning between locals and visitors including a short visit to the local preschool.
The children were very excited to sing and dance along to the English nursery rhymes we’ve all grown up with and enjoyed ourselves. During story time, the children were eager to show you the animals, from the story, on their walls and teach you the names in Pakinyaw, their local language. As we played games, each child was excited to celebrate their individual wins as well as those of their classmates. Many different activities are offered with the children, and I chose playing with building blocks. And just like all children around the world, they enjoyed building toy guns to shoot and tumbling structures to knock down and rebuild again.
Participating in an organization such as Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary provides you with the opportunity to not only support the rehabilitation of traditions established long before humans violated those humane, environmentally friendly ways of life but also learn from the people who live and share their world with these beautiful, intelligent animals.