Transforming inspiration into action: Students launch rabies awareness campaign after film screenings in Angola

Published: Feb 9, 2024 Reading time: 2 minutes
Transforming inspiration into action: Students launch rabies awareness campaign after film screenings in Angola
© Photo: Hwimma Conceição Rodrigues

Students from the Agricultural Technical Institute of Huambo in Angola, inspired by our project to create positive changes in their communities, are taking education beyond the classroom walls.

After participating in the film screenings, young Angolans not only received a grant for community initiatives but also identified a pressing need in their neighbourhood: an anti-rabies campaign for local animals. Angola is the first African country, into which we have introduced the One World in Schools (OWIS) methodology from our colleagues in the Czech Republic.

OWIS focuses on education and awareness through documentaries and films; it provides students with a global perspective on social and environmental issues. The film screenings address themes such as environmental responsibility, women's empowerment, and community engagement. Through these films, we heightened the students' awareness of the role they can play in creating a healthier and safer environment.

Obtaining an OWIS grant was a significant milestone for teenagers in Huambo; it provided them with the necessary resources to initiate community projects. In the spirit of OWIS, the students did more than merely celebrate their achievement—they directed their newfound resources towards an urgent need in their neighbourhood.

In observing the health conditions of animals in the neighbourhood, the students noted that there was a pressing need for an anti-rabies campaign. Aware of the risks that rabies poses to animals and, by extension, the community, students in the animal production course invested their efforts—and their grant—in creating a comprehensive campaign.

The campaign promoted mass vaccination to immunise animals against rabies. It also raised community awareness of the threat posed by the disease. Students inform the neighbours about the dangers of rabies and the importance of vaccination.

Although the initiative has great potential, the students had to overcome challenges that required innovative approaches. The logistics of mass vaccination, raising effective awareness, and long-term sustainability are areas being carefully considered.

The students' journey from inspiration to action highlights the positive impact education can have in shaping change agents in a community. The anti-rabies campaign is more than an isolated effort; it is a tangible expression of these students' commitment to creating a healthier and safer environment for everyone. By leveraging their OWIS grant, the young people of Huambo sowed the seeds of lasting change in their community. Their actions vividly demonstrate that when youth are empowered and inspired, the impact can be truly transformative.

Autor: Hwimma Conceição Rodrigues

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