Community Outreach Project through Equines (COPE)
Children in the Western Cape from less fortunate communities are very likely to suffer from conditions such as Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy can give birth to babies with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (sometimes known as FASD). FASD is the umbrella term for a range of disorders. These disorders can be mild or severe and can cause physical and mental birth defects. FAS is a severe form of the condition. People with FAS may have problems with their vision, hearing, memory, attention span, and abilities to learn and communicate. While the defects vary from one person to another, the damage is often permanent.
These children often end up not completing school and end up in gangs, using drugs which ultimately lead to prison or early death. It is our aim to assist children from less fortunate communities and through the help of the horse teach and assist them with vital skills to prepare them for their future.
Currently we are running a program once a week to the surrounding farm children, exposing them to our Equine Assisted Learning approach and offering them a chance to ride the horses.
All of these children face various challenges each day, bullying, developmental delays, dysfunctional families, peer pressure and most of them suffering from FASD. We hope to be able to mentor the children and create relationships where we can create a space where they can build themselves positively, while learning to care for horses and each other.