Animal care

Schools and animal welfare

Nicky Cook looks at a new service project involving animal welfare and invites international schools around the world to get involved.

New initiative for schools from the Worldwide Veterinary Service 

International animal welfare charity Worldwide Veterinary Service is today proud to launch a new global environmental programme to connect schools, their teachers and students. The ‘International Schools Initiative’, which links schools across six continents, aims to provide a unique opportunity for students and teachers to explore the important issues that are affecting animals around the globe. Many of the topics examined have been brought to the forefront by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nicky Cook, the charity’s International Education Manager, who devised the scheme, explains more: “Over the coming days, children around the world will be returning to school – more aware than ever about global issues; having all shared the restrictions of lockdown. Our International Schools Initiative builds on this shared experience, allowing children from different countries and backgrounds to explore the world around them while finding all that connects them to their global peers. Crucially, the scheme fosters an innate understanding of the interconnection between ourselves, animals, the living world and the environment – turning the next generation into truly global citizens.”

Joining the initiative as a school

Participating schools pay just £300 for their annual membership – receiving immediate access to three terms worth of fully resourced sessions to run the scheme with a class or club. Furthermore, member schools join a global network through which they can connect with schools internationally to share experiences and resources.

Pilot project

The global launch in 2020 follows a pilot project run in partnership with a handful of forward-thinking schools. Caroline Leather, Head of PSHEE (Prep) at Bromsgrove School, England, was really enthusiastic about the project: “The International Schools Initiative has been a real success, with the children massively enjoying the scheme. They loved receiving their packs and found the sessions provided by WVS informative and fun. The resources are brilliant and engaging – while being part of a global network is great for all schools. We look forward to more schools joining us in the Initiative!”

Young Vets Club and WVS

The International Schools Initiative is part of Worldwide Veterinary Service’s ‘Young Vets Club’, which aims to inspire the next generation of animal lovers to be more involved in animal welfare, directly through schools and through a membership scheme.

Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) itself is an international charity based in the UK. Set up by veterinarian Luke Gamble in 2003, they provide veterinary support to animals in need in places where no one else can. The charity acts as a central veterinary resource offering free care to animal charities and non-profit organisations around the world.

WVS run their own projects, from neutering campaigns in Malawi to equine clinics in India. WVS also train local and international vets at their three international training centres in India and Thailand. The charity runs its international operations from a small office in Cranborne, Dorset.

Resources for schools

To celebrate the launch of the network, the charity is giving away free resources to all schools. The KS2 & KS3 lesson plans, presentations and tasks for those still learning at home explores the pandemic, helping children understand the cause, global response and impact on our lives and the world as a whole.

Interested schools can access these free resources and find out more about the International Schools Initiative by visiting


Nicky Cook is the WVS International Education Manager.

If you would like your school to get involved in support of their work, please email Nicky or call +44(0)1725 557225. Nicky is based in the UK.

Images kindly supplied by WVS.

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