Noah's Residents

Noah's Residents

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Camping at Noah’s Ark with Students from SOTA

For the first time, Noah's Ark hosted a camping trip for a group of students from School of the Arts (SOTA).  The camp was led by Alysha Nair, together with her friends they planned and organized a 3D/2N camp from 7 to June.

The main purpose of the camp was to let the students understand more about animal welfare and to teach them on the different ways to care for different animals at the sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to 600 dogs, 300 cats, 10 horses, 3 monkeys and rabbits. The students worked in a group and they were taught on how to care for the animals at the sanctuary.

Day 1

The first day was the Horse Therapy Programme where students were taught the basics of riding a horse and to interact with the horses properly.  Hugo Chia a student said, “I feel that the horses are extremely elegant and mighty animals. It was my first time riding a horse and I really love the feeling of riding a horse.” Adding on he said, “The animals can be our best friends but they can be our best teachers too. Animals display many basic values that we human beings might have forgotten or overlooked in life.”

Lynda Goh, a Noah's Ark volunteer and camp coordinator shared that the horse therapy programme was to give the students the opportunity to work with horses and to give them self confidence.  In Singapore horse riding is an expensive hobby and it is a sport which not everyone can participate.  We wanted to give the students the chance to understand that these horses are beautiful and gentle giants.

From left: Nicole, Vanessa and Alysha with
a rescued Great Dane, Juno.

Next, the students were allowed to observe the clinical work that was done for the animals on a case by case basis to assess any underlying health problems or for routine vaccinations. Alysha Nair, a student said, “I find the clinical experience very interesting and I have a deeper understanding of Uncle Raymund's compassion and sincerity in helping the animals.” At the clinic, Raymund also shared with the students about the meaning of an animal lover, one should consider what the term “love” means. To him, the most basic thing is “respect” which is the respect for any creatures great and small.

Day 2

The second day of the camp was letting the students learn about the general housekeeping procedures of the many animals at the sanctuary. The students were tasked to wash the animal’s food bowls and to fill their water bowls too. 

By mid- morning, the students were at the cattery to brush and to clean the cats' ears. The animals at the sanctuary do not get visitors very often so it is a good opportunity for the students to interact with them. Hariharan, a student said, “ I am a dog person but throughout the trip, I have grown to like cats as they were really gentle and would sit next to people and just be there with you. 

Vanessa, a student said, “Cats used to be my favorite but after the trip I like them equally. It is a heartening experience to see all the animals, especially the cats and dogs living together.” The students were also allowed to rinse the horses and learn the basic techniques of grooming the horses.

Raymund Wee also shared with the students about his work in running of the sanctuary daily in caring for all the animals. It showed that through cases of abuse and neglect on dogs like Juno who despite her past was given a second chance at the sanctuary. Even though there is a need for more awareness and priority on animal welfare in Singapore, Raymund shared with the students that they need to know that the factors in keeping the sanctuary running daily was compassion, love and perseverance in working together with the volunteers and workers for the benefit of the animals. 

Jasmine giving  her paw to Nicole.
Nicole, a student said, “Previously, I was allergic to pets and I could not keep them but this was one of my most enjoyable trips and it was a joy to meet all the animals. I realised that all animals such as cats and dogs could live together and it has helped me to grow as a person and understand the animals more.”

Alysha preparing breakfast for the group with Uncle Raymund.

Hari taking over the cooking
from Alysha.

French Toast. Yummy!!

Throughout the camp, the students had to take turns in the morning to prepare breakfast for the group. They had to plan the food that they wanted to cook and to buy as part of their planning for the camp. The students also get to learn real life lessons such as event planning. 

They also understood that the animals at the sanctuary have their own different background stories and personalities which are similar to humans and that they seek only a human’s love, respect and care to understand them. Vanessa said, “Uncle Raymund, Aunty Lynda, Le Ying and the workers at Noah's Ark persevere with a strong focus towards animal welfare and a firm yet loving heart for the animals. To co-ordinate the operations of managing so many animals is no easy feat and has helped me to appreciate the many different roles in an animal welfare organisation.”

Back row from left: Vanessa and Alysha
Front rown from left: Nicole and Le Ying

Hari and Hugo helped the workers to transport the cement
for the construction of Huggy Boy's enclosure.

Man @ Work.

David (right) supervising Hugo to unload the cement.

Both Hugo and Hari giving the final touches to the stable fences.

Evo supervising and ensuring that
the girls washed the horses' buckets.

The students shared that through their camping experience at Noah's Ark, they are able to live their stressful academic life behind for awhile to focus on the therapeutic experience of caring for the animals and living behind their technology devices as there is no internet connection at the sanctuary. Lynda, a Noah's Ark camp coordinator said, “I am impressed with the students, some of them were non pet owners and they adapted very well with the animals. They showed no fear, they were calmed and they remained positive. They listened to instructions, they were serious in their work to help the animals and were not afraid of the hard work.” At the last day of the camp, the students all agreed that the camp was an enriching, memorable and inspirational experience and that they would like to come back again to help the animals.

A well deserved Lok Lok dinner for everyone at
the sanctuary. 

From left: Alysha, David, Hugo, Hari, Raymund, Vanessa and Nicole
Camps are usually conducted during the school holidays for a group about 10 paxs/students.  If you want to plan a camping  trip, please email to Noah's Ark CARES.

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To join our mailing list, please email to Noah's Ark CARES.

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