Early Intervention Works!

Our after-school programme is designed to increase emotional intelligence and empathy levels, while developing coping skills to help maintain an open heart into adulthood.

It also provides us with the ideal opportunity to identify children (and their families) in need of emotional support and other forms of assistance.

A unique combination of proven approaches

Programme Components

Humane Education

We source and provide CAPS-aligned, department approved lesson plans and materials to foundation phase teachers, ensuring that all material is relevant, culturally sensitive and easy to understand.

Children learn about the 5 Freedoms:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst
  • Freedom from discomfort
  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease
  • Freedom to express normal behaviour
  • Freedom from fear and distress

Humane education nurtures respect and compassion for all living beings.

By teaching children about perspective taking and compassion from a young age, they are better able to develop empathy, which in turn lowers the risk of antisocial behaviour.  By raising levels of empathy, we also create caring classroom environments, which lead to improved learning – and teaching.

Equine Assisted Learning & Development

Our Equine Assisted Learning & Development activities form part of an experiential programme facilitated within a group format, and are designed specifically for improving empathy levels and coping skills.  All objective-driven activities take place “on the ground”, rather than on horseback, and learners find themselves learning valuable life skills in a fun and exciting atmosphere that requires their active participation and co-operation.

As sensitive herd animals, horses are highly attuned to body language and emotions, and are able to pick up on physiological cues that might otherwise go undetected in traditional therapy.  By reading the horses’ interactions and reactions to learners during structured activities, our trained therapists are able to target specific issues and areas of development.  They are also able to detect emotional dysfunction and incongruency, which highlights the need for therapeutic intervention.

Wildlife Appreciation

Our Wildlife Appreciation component takes place on our farm, as well as with visits to internationally acclaimed wildlife sanctuaries.

The programme includes education on the identification and behaviour of various animals that would ordinarily be at risk in the communities where we work. Many animals are needlessly injured or killed through fear, misunderstanding and cultural beliefs, which is why education is critical to ensuring the safety of the animals and the humans who would harm them.

We use the visits to sanctuaries to learn, but also to develop empathy for the animals who previously lost their freedom, suffered neglect or abuse, whilst focusing on their determination and methods of coping.

Non-venomous snakes are used to help children face their fears, while learning important self-calming techniques, to reduce anxiety levels and help them think clearly in any dangerous situation.

Self-Development Dog Clubs

More than simple obedience training for dogs, our ongoing weekly community-based dog training clubs are designed with the handlers in mind.  As much as the activities are geared toward the training of the dog, and deepening the bond between dog and child, they are also designed to achieve specific child development objectives.

By running a fun weekly programme in the community, where we can see first-hand the condition of the dogs, we can use condition assessments to gauge the impact of various humane education efforts.

The sense of belonging and camaraderie, as well as the practice homework that the children are required to do, is intended to provide them with something positive to focus their energies on, rather than becoming involved with dangerous groups and activities.  Having a well-trained, obedient dog also provides them with true confidence, rather than the negative status that is desperately sought through power-breed ownership and dog fighting.

The clubs also give the children in our programme a “lifeline” to our team, so that they don’t ever feel abandoned, post programme.

Want to Get Involved?

If you’d like to know more about our programme or how you can help, we’d love to hear from you.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Many hearts make love work!

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