Visitors put themselves to work cleaning kennels at the centre, bathing the dogs and puppies, and spending time with the staff responsible for the day-to-day running of the animal shelter. (Images: Mathiba Molefe)Volunteers converged on the Ark Animal Centre in northern Johannesburg on Sunday, 8 May, to join a Going the Extra Mile (GEM) initiative to get the tails of dogs wagging again.The visitors put themselves to work cleaning kennels at the centre, bathing the dogs and puppies, and spending time with the staff responsible for the day-to-day running of the animal shelter.Play Your Part, a Brand South Africa programme to promote active citizenship, has partnered with GEM in its events to uplift disadvantaged communities and improve the standards of living for all – animals included. GEM’s work is coordinated through an app that rewards people for doing good.Tracy Otto, the founder and manager of the Ark Animal Centre, said “I think spaces like GEM are fantastic because they’re actually building awareness. For us to get word of our work out there is difficult, but now there’s another outlet which is GEM.“It’s motivating people that wouldn’t normally come here for two or three hours. They see what we’re doing and they realise that there is a need and a way for them to help.”There were smiles all round as visitors got to share in some of the positive energy going around at the Ark Animal Center.ARK ANIMAL CENTREOtto said the main aim of the home is to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome puppies that had been abandoned or brought there by owners unable to care for them.“At the moment I’d say we’ve got about 80 puppies here. Two weeks ago we had about 140, so we’ve managed to home quite a lot since then.“It’s very hard to work here sometimes because you see a lot of things that you don’t want to see,” she said. So what makes it worthwhile? “It’s the end result: when you see a puppy that has come here from a terrible place and it leaves with the best family – and it’s healthy and happy. That’s what drives us, and you can’t walk away from that.”“When you see a puppy that has come here from a terrible place and it leaves with the best family – and it’s healthy and happy. That’s what drives us, and you can’t walk away from that.” Tracy Otto, founder and manager of the Ark Animal Center.GOING THE EXTRA MILEThe GEM social development drive aims to get the public to help NGOs. It also fosters a sense of community and makes a positive difference to people’s lives.GEM offers incentives for volunteers through its app. They earn “gems” for every good deed, which can be redeemed for airtime, prepaid electricity and even movie tickets.Volunteers also have the option of donating their gems to the cause of their choice, helping in the day-to-day running of organisations like the Ark Animal Centre.Lisa Wilkinson, one of the volunteers who heard about the Ark Animal Centre through GEM, said she first joined GEM’s activations when she helped raise money for Gift of the Givers during relief efforts after the 2014 xenophobic attacks.“From then on I’ve tried to do a GEM event every weekend that I am available,” she said. “I try and do as much work with GEM as possible because it’s an amazing initiative.”Kimberly Japp, another GEM volunteer at the animal shelter, said even the rewards could do good. “The best part is that you can donate your GEMs to the project that you’re working for, so it doesn’t have to go to you, it can go to them.”Kimberly Japp, another GEM volunteer at the animal shelter, said even the rewards could do good. “The best part is that you can donate your GEMs to the project that you’re working for, so it doesn’t have to go to you, it can go to them.”GET INVOLVED WITH GEMEncouraging active citizenship among South Africa’s people is one of Play Your Part’s key objectives. By partnering with GEM and other social initiatives, the campaign looks to increase its reach and drive more citizens to take action and offer their time, energy and resources to help wherever they can.For more information on how to get involved in your community and to keep track of the activities in and around your area, visit the GEM website or download the application from the Apple App store or the Google Play Store.Encouraging active citizenship among South Africa’s people is one of Play Your Part’s key objectives. By partnering with GEM and other social initiatives, the campaign looks to increase its reach and drive more citizens to take action.PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part to help improve the lives of those around you or the environment? Do you know of anyone who has gone out of their way to help improve South Africa and its people?If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest While you’re at this year’s Farm Science Review, it might be worth you time to stop by and visit the new Beck’s facilities, just east of The Molly Caren Ag Center. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins ran into Sonny Beck at Farm Science Review and learned more about the research and growth at Beck’s.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Whitney Short, agricultural educator at Anthony Wayne High School in Whitehouse, Ohio, is one of only six individuals nationwide who received the 2017 National Agriscience Teacher of the Year Award. The award was presented in December at the National Association of Agricultural Educators’ annual convention in Nashville.The National Agriscience Teacher of the Year award recognizes teachers who have inspired and enlightened their students through engaging and interactive lessons in the science of agriculture.Although it is located at Anthony Wayne High School, the agriculture program is actually a satellite of the Penta Career Center. When Short realized that enrollment was declining, she renewed student interest by creating an agriculture biotechnology pathway. Through the new course of study, students have the opportunity to explore biotech in both animal and plant systems. The popularity of the new pathway has led Short to steadily increase science-based agriculture offerings at Anthony Wayne.An integral piece of the agriculture program at Anthony Wayne is project-based learning. In the Chicken Challenge, students conduct an experiment to evaluate a broiler chicken’s rate of weight gain using a variety of feeds. Students care for the chickens until they are ready for butchering, which is done with student help at a certified processing facility. The project teaches students about food safety, technical writing, animal welfare, marketing and communication. Through these kinds of rigorous and relevant experiences students leave Short’s program better prepared for college and careers.
The Hirakud dam authorities opened as many as 25 gates of the reservoir on Tuesday evening due to heavy rain in the upper catchment area of the Mahanadi river and release of water from certain projects in neighbouring Chhattisgarh. This may create a flood-like situation in as many as 11 districts under the Mahanadi river system over the next two days.According to State Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi, release of water at the Munduli barrage near Bhubaneswar was likely to cross 8,00,000 cusecs-mark by Wednesday evening.Mr. Sethi told presspersons that the District Collectors and the Water Resources Department have been asked to draw up emergency plans. Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams have also been put on alert.The districts that have been issued flood alerts are Sambalpur, Subarnapur, Boudh, Nayagarh, Angul, Cuttack, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda and Jajpur.
AussiesIs there a team that can stop Australia doing a hat-trick of World Cup wins? At the time of writing, they still have to play New Zealand in the Super 8 stage, and that should be a humdinger of a match. Though there is much talk of rivalry between Australia,AussiesIs there a team that can stop Australia doing a hat-trick of World Cup wins? At the time of writing, they still have to play New Zealand in the Super 8 stage, and that should be a humdinger of a match. Though there is much talk of rivalry between Australia and England, the Aussie dominance over England in recent years has been so complete that it is a surprise when England occasionally beat them. So is with South Africa.There are great similarities between Australia and South Africa. They have the same love for sport, the facilities for all sports are top class, the people are competitive and both have a fierce instinct in whichever sport they play against each other. But unlike rugby, the Proteas have never truly stretched the Aussies in cricket.But against their Trans-Tasman neighbour, New Zealand, the rivalry is to be seen to be believed. Somehow, even India-Pakistan encounters pale when one sees the intensity of passion when the Kiwis play the Aussies, especially in New Zealand. And that’s true in any sport. That the Kiwis beat the Australians in all three of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy games will be rankling the Aussies to no end, and remember, the Kiwis did that by chasing 300-plus scores, which is a remarkable achievement indeed. The Aussies were without Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist, and Brett Lee got injured. So they were without top players and would want to prove that the defeat was the result of that and possibly because they were jaded after the Ashes series and the triseries that followed. Mind you, the Aussies are not for excuses but for results, and they will want to show who is the boss in no uncertain manner.advertisementDespite similarities, South Africa have never stretched Australia in cricket.It is this total dominance over other teams that does bring up the question of whether the Aussies are beatable in this World Cup. True, teams do have the odd bad day, but the Aussies have hardly been stretched in the matches they have played so far. So much so that the likes of Michael Hussey and Brad Hodge have not had to hit the ball in anger so far. The Aussies had to promote Hussey to open the batting against Ireland to give him some time out in the middle, and that’s a chilling thought for the bowlers as the tournament reaches the final week.South Africa claimed the last place for the semi-finals by romping home to a win over a listless England side. That means, barring an unexpected big margin loss by Australia to New Zealand, the Proteas will face the Aussies in the semi-finals. That may not be what they want, but if they catch the Aussies on the wrong foot, just imagine the confidence with which they will enter the finals. Though the Australians beat them quite easily in their group clash, the Proteas will keep rewinding to that astonishing chase of 434, which not only got them the world record for most runs, but also a one day series victory. Where the Proteas might find themselves short is the spin department, where they have nobody of international class.The other anticipated semi-final between New Zealand and Sri Lanka promises to be a much closer one than their Super 8 clash where the Lankans ran out easy winners. Both captains, Stephen Fleming and Mahela Jayawardene, are shrewd operators who know how to extract the maximum from their players. Fleming is in his third consecutive World Cup as captain, and is also in good form with the bat, which makes a huge difference when one is leading the side. Jayawardene, on the other hand, has been in patchy form, but is capable of the sublime innings that can turn the match around. He came in for plenty of flak for resting Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan in their Super 8 clash with Australia, but it was more to do with resting two senior players than a tactical ploy. Australia won that game easily. Some of the gloss was taken out of the win through the absence of Vaas and Murali.The one-day game does not allow too much scope for tactical moves, but captains have been using their spinners in a clever way. The ‘Powerplay’ also has been used intelligently, though Brian Lara got it horribly wrong against South Africa when he took the final one in the 44th over of their innings.As the tournament enters its final phase, tactics will count, but not as much as temperament and fitness. That is what invariably separates the men from the boys.advertisementFormer India captain Sunil Gavaskar will be writing an exclusive column for all through the World Cup.