Animal Action Education award winners honoured at Darwin Museum in Moscow

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) recently unveiled an Animal Action Education (AAE) exhibition of environmental placards and drawings under the theme “Keep Wild Animals Wild!” at the State Darwin Museum in Moscow. 


IFAW has been conducting AAE programs in Russia for 25 years. Annually it’s crowned by an all-Russian drawing contest.

In 2016 more than 1,000 students sent their works from 300 schools, art clubs, youth associations and organisations from cities and towns across Russia.  

Special guests of the exhibition were two AAE contest winners Polina Lapshina (13) from the city of Volgograd on the Volga River and Semion Duschenko (10) from the city of Chaplygin in the Lipetsk Region, as well as boys and girls from Moscow orphanages.

They took part in IFAW AAE programme and in the drawing contest, learned much about IFAW and animal welfare.

This has become a part of the social adaptation programme Gateway to the World which is designed to expand knowledge about various professions.

IFAW invited Polina Lapshina and Semion Duschenko and funded their visits to Moscow with their parents.

“I can’t understand it when some people buy clothes made of wild animals, because it can be substituted by any other kind of clothes which would look well too.

We should rather protect and enrich the world around us, take care of the environment, prevent forests from logging because this is our life too – the life of animals and people,” said Polina.

“We need to catch all the poachers and should not buy products made of animal skins,” he added.

The program was designed to help students understand the nature of animals, key animal welfare and ecological concepts and human behaviours that impact the world we share.

Wild animal populations still suffer from the loss of habitat, careless industrial activities, mass scale logging, poaching, illegal wildlife trade and commercial exploitation of animals which threaten many species.

Among most endangered in Russia are Amur tigers, Polar bears, Saiga antelope, Gyrfalcons and Saker Falcons, Sturgeon, Western Gray Whales, some populations of seals and Beluga whales just to mention a few species.

Rejecting wildlife products of any kind and denying any commercial use of wild animals help create zero tolerance to their commercial exploitation and lessen demand for illegal hunting and capture of wild animals.

The works presented at the Darwin Museum exhibition were entitled with slogans like “Only Animals Carry Fur”, “Whales are Natural Beauty, not Food!”, “Stop! Don’t Shoot!”, “I’m a Hedgehog, not a Toy!”, “Don’t Torture Them for a Private Photograph!” and so on.

I am excited when I look into the eyes of these children and understand that due to IFAW’s work thousands of girls and boys across Russia have discovered a world in which they can help animals.


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