IHE M.Ed. student Rosana Ng was born and raised in Hong Kong and lived for several years in Toronto, Canada. She spent many years in the clothing business, traveling extensively. For her, life was about moving ahead. When Rosana found humane education, she “made a 180-degree turn in life.” Rosana now lives with four dogs and works as the senior manager of the Jane Goodall Institute Hong Kong. We asked Rosana to share about her work and life.
IHE: What led you to the path of humane education?
RN: I have to say: “Sometimes you have to get lost in order to find yourself.” (quote from the movie “Australia”).
I was living in conflict within myself for a long time. I was born into a traditional Chinese family where girls are seen has having a less significant position. I was fortunate that my parents sent me abroad (Canada) to study. My parents’ plans for me were: “Get your education, get married, have children, and therefore you will complete your role!” I am thankful that I got my education, but the rest was not for me.
I have had a special connection with animals since I was young. And when I was about five, I experienced something very traumatic. I witnessed a dog being tortured and eventually slaughtered for his meat. I could not process such cruelty, and it caused me to withdraw from the world. I didn’t care about people and wondered what living was all about.
I was lucky that I stumbled onto IHE’s website and learned that we can make positive changes by doing the most good and the least harm, and that we are not too small to make a difference. Instead of living in despair I put my energy into making change. Since my passion lies with animals, I’ve spent my energy in various ways saving animals, and eventually saving myself.
Life has not been the same since I found humane education.
IHE: Share how you’re currently manifesting humane education.
RN: Because I have lived in the business world all my life, it took me a long time to find my way to humane education. I eventually found my best self in leading campaigns to raise awareness on animal issues. My first activism work began with organising the Global March for Lions in 2014 along with 62 cities in the world. I have also organised and participated in campaigns which helped rhinos, elephants, and captive dolphins, and which fought against the fur industry.
With my activism work and my humane education studies I landed a job with the Jane Goodall Institute Hong Kong. My work involves creating environmental education programs and projects for schools. I also run Roots & Shoots in Hong Kong, where we nurture young leaders to help people, animals, and the environment. Everything I’ve learned from humane education can be put to use.
IHE: Share a success story.
RN: My work at the Jane Goodall Institute allows me to run projects. My favorite project is Messenger of Nature, which is a competition for young adults to create videos to raise awareness about endangered species. The winning team, the Wild Boys, created a video, “The Lost Memory,” in which they placed themselves 40 years into the future. They learned that elephants, sharks, and crocodiles once existed, but due to human use of animal products, these species had gone extinct. It was an amazing video. The winning prize was a trip to South Africa where the Wild Boys experienced true wildlife and learned more about the poaching crisis. It was an inspiring project!
IHE: What would you say to others interested in IHE’s graduate programs?
RN: IHE’s program helps you understand the connections between animals, people, and the environment. The cultural norms and outside forces can make us feel insignificant, but every day we make choices, and we can choose what kind of world we want to live in. We are not too small to bring about change. Everyone can make change. As Dr. Jane Goodall says, “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”