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Please donate for a kinder world


Education is key to achieving better lives for all who journey on Mother Earth. To consider the lives of the animals closest to us for example, thousands of household pets are handed in to animal welfare organisations as a result of not being wanted any more.


Yet a pilot project carried out at a primary school in the Western Cape, to assess the impact of our Five Freedoms for Animals Puppet Play, performed by the learners themselves, shows that by raising human consciousness through education, we can change social values in a very positive way. We can bring an end to the demoralising stream of unwanted pets.


We can support healthy lives for all animals as part of our ethos as human beings.


Who are we?

The Humane Education Trust (HET) hosts the Nature-based Education online platform. 

Our programme is unique and is based on ‘The Five Freedoms for Animals’ which are officially endorsed (alongside the Five Domains for Animals) by the South African government and by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). The Five Freedoms are designed to ensure that an animal’s basic needs are met through…

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst

  • Freedom from discomfort

  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease

  • Freedom to express normal behaviour

  • Freedom from fear and distress


HET’s educational programme adds a fresh and challenging dimension to the lives of all learners by embedding an ethos of care and respect for ourselves, the animals that journey through life alongside us, and the environment at large. Through HET’s education platform we offer freely downloadable lesson plans, from Grade R to Grade 12, that are underpinned by the Five Freedoms and are aligned with the Learning Areas ‘Life Skills’ and ‘Life Orientation’ in the South African Schools Curriculum.

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Most importantly, our Five Freedoms puppet play …

  • has won the approval of Education Department top office-bearers

  • has demonstrated a positive impact on learner behaviour and perceptions

  • was presented in 2019 to an international audience at the Summer School in Oxford at the invitation of the Oxford Centre for Animals Ethics

  • has been aired on SABCTV2’s programme ‘Issues of Faith’ programme multiple times (with special permission being granted to show the children’s faces)

  • has been selected for inclusion in The Handbook of Humane Education for world distribution by the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

More about the Puppet Play...

The Five Freedoms Puppet Play reaches not only the learners and teachers but their families and communities too, developing empathy and compassion for the animals in our care.


The pilot project in the Western Cape, referred to above, was funded by the world’s leading humane education foundation, The Latham Foundation in the USA, and was conducted over a two-year period at Forest Heights Primary School in Eerste River.

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Not only did the learners remember the Five Freedoms for Animals fully two years after the completion of the pilot project, without any intervening instruction, but additionally an ethos of respect for the sentience of other creatures became evident in their behaviour. We believe that by raising human consciousness through this hands-on, creative, and interactive role-playing initiative, we can begin to achieve the kind of world we want our children and grandchildren to inherit.

What is our goal?

To elevate the status of animals in South African society through the teaching of the Five Freedoms for Animals in schools.


To hasten the repair and restoration of our world, it's imperative for our youngsters get involved.

To achieve this, they need to know more... they need our online Lesson Plans.


Managing Trustee | The Humane Education Trust 

Director | Nature-Based Education  Cape Town, South Africa

Email |

Website |

Mobile | 082 457 9177

SA Representative | Compassion in World Farming

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Please make a contribution to our efforts to raise human consciousness so that the animals in our care can lead healthy lives in accordance with the Five Freedoms for Animals 

Your donation is tax deductible!

For every donation, The Humane Education Trust will issue a Section 18A Tax Certificate for you to hand in to SARS.

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