The "Animal Awareness" project, developed upon ALERT's suggestion and proposal, by 10-11 year-old pupils and teachers during their Project Area sessions at Porto's Nicolau Nasoni School in Portugal is aligned with the company's goals of promoting respect for human and other animals' life and which will be further explored with the Foundation's future actions. In the light of this, the mentioned suggestion, which meets the skills professed by the education system itself, was enthusiastically received by the Nicolau Nasoni School, and particularly by the teachers and pupils of class 5A in the scope of the Project Area, and by the CIBIO-DIV (Biodiversity and Genetic Resources Research Center of the University of Porto). Thanks to the effort and dedication to the Project Area by those involved in the process throughout the whole 2010/2011 school year, as well as by elements from the school and the CIBIO-DIV, this project was a success.
The project's general purposes were to further increase knowledge on animals, as well as to raise awareness towards animal rights and their protection. To achieve those purposes, the following was developed: increase knowledge on animals from different perspectives: common, scientific and cultural; show that each animal plays an important role within the ecosystem; identify the most common conjectures made on animals and deconstruct eventual urban myths; reflect over providing adequate and dignified life conditions to animals; raise awareness towards animal maltreatment and abuse based on accurate research; promote reflective thinking on various aspects related to animals and raise awareness towards the relationship between Man and Animal.
The project was developed in different phases, from theory sessions and, in some cases, direct contact with the animals themselves, to the public presentation of a play. These tasks were carried out with much dedication and creativity by CIBIO-DIV biologists and ecologists. A creative writing phase followed, which reflected what had been explained during the theory part. Puppets and stage sets were then produced, and this culminated in the rehearsal and premiere of a play conceived by students and teachers and presented to the school's community at its premises.
In this manner, ALERT has been developing projects that endeavor to bring culture and science to where they have difficulty reaching, as well as to pass on values of solidarity, mutual aid and respect for life and the planet.