25 June 2014, 19:09PM
Delighted to be passing over the Blog to Tuan, our Vietnam Director, after he spent a fantastic few hours in Ho Chi Minh with Barbara Wilson and students from Saigon South International School, in Vietnam.
Barbara and her husband Ron have been staunch supporters of Animals Asia and our campaign to end bear bile farming since Barbara first began helping us at the International School Beijing in 2002! Twelve years later, Barbara continues inspiring her students to help the bears in both China and Vietnam and we are all sincerely grateful to all at Saigon South International School for all their passion and help......until the cruelty ends.
A group of Grade 5 students from Saigon South International School in Ho Chi Minh City has started their own “Say No to Bear Farming” campaign. The campaign was initiated by Barbara Wilson, a teacher from the school, who is a passionate, long-term supporter of Animals Asia and previously organised events for the bears when she was teaching in Beijing.
The students began the campaign with a Skype interview with Jill and myself to find out the facts about bear bile farming in Vietnam. They wanted to write persuasive essays about why bear bile farming should not be allowed and research ideas about fund raising and raising awareness for the bears for an event organised by the school on May 25th at the Mercedes Benz dealership in Phu My Hung, Ho Chi Minh City.
This fun and informative event aimed to teach students and adults about endangered wildlife and environmental issues though presentations, exhibits, games or other art activities. At the event, the student moon bear group presented a play describing how a daughter of a bear farm owner has convinced her father to give up the bears to Animals Asia. They also did a presentation on the plight of moon bears, handed out brochures and made moon bear necklaces and headbands to raise awareness.
Mercedes Benz dealership donated a cage so that students could simulate how bears are kept on bear farm. Overall, the Grade 5 students raised an incredible 9,775,000 đong for the bears.I finally met Barbara and the students early this month in Ho Chi Minh City. The students, especially Kirsten, Muccia, Vivian, Angela, Tam, Elin, Vu Anh... from the student moon bear group are truly amazing and so passionate about the moon bears — I have never seen anything like it. They read out the bear farming play and showed us their research and what they had done to raise the money. Next school year, we're planning more awareness and fund raising events at the school involving more students from different grades.
A huge thank goes to Barbara for inspiring another generation of students to be heroes for animals, to the school and Grade 5 students for donating to help the bears, and for making us feel so welcome during our visit.
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