Laura And Wagner Foundation Opening More Eyes

After enjoying the summer holidays with her children and recovering from major eye surgery done at the University of Aachen, LWF Founder Laura de Haseth Meddens, along with LWF Chairman Reyna Joe and Veterinarian Odette Doest visited local schools as part of activities leading up to Animal Day.

Students at the Marnix Basis School and Albert Schweitzer School had their eyes opened to the special training guide and assistance dogs undergo and how they benefit people who don't see as well, hear as well or walk as well as the rest of us. Dr. Doest also explained to the children some of the things they can do to keep their own dogs healthy, and what to do if they are ever chased by a dog in the street. Odette also showed the children how her own dog Nickolai has been trained to respond to commands.

LWF Chairman Reyna Joe explained the work of the Foundation and served as moderator as the children asked questions of LWF Founder Laura de Haseth Meddens about Wagner, her guide-dog from The Seeing Eye in the United States.


Students at both schools asked very good questions and were very excited when they had the opportunity to meet Laura and Wagner up close and pet "Waggie"'s soft fur.


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Bright Park Reading Group

Laura de Haseth Meddens and her guide dog Wagner have been busy ‘opening eyes’ with students of all ages in Curaçao. Recently they paid a visit to Laura And Wagner Foundation Chairman Reyna Joe’s weekly reading group at her Bright Park children’s facility.


Laura told the children about her experiences of learning to work with Wagner after she lost much of her eyesight and then listened to the children taking turns reading from a book about dogs. The children were eager to ask questions such as, “how do you put your earrings on”, or “how do you get dressed”, and were very impressed when Laura showed them she could dial a mobile phone behind her back.

After learning more about guide and assistance dogs, the children had a chance to test Wagner’s retrieving abilities in the playground, since he is a Golden retriever. They were all very impressed and eager for Laura and Wagner to make a return visit.


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International School Of Curaçao Students Sell Paw Prints For The LWF

Another highlight this past year was a return visit to the International School of Curaçao where students who are part of the National Junior Honour Society presented Laura and Wagner with a cheque for 870 NAfl, the result of fundraising drive.

As NJHS Advisor Maya Garcia explained, “ This is a group of intelligent, motivated students in grade 7 through 9 who group together to do service work. When I asked the students which organization they wanted to raise money for, they named two: Dierenasiel and The Laura And Wagner Foundation.

With this animal theme we ran a school-wide fundraising drive. For each 5 guilders that was donated, a coloured square with a paw print was posted on bulletin boards to thank the giver for helping out. The students in the photograph cut the paper into squares, manned donation tables and motivated their peers to donate to worthy causes”.

Laura thanked Maya and the students for their thoughtful and generous efforts and promised to return soon for another visit to help raise awareness about the Foundation’s work. And the LWF will be making plans for more school tours throughout 2009 as the Awareness Campaign continues.