Volunteer abroad on our specialised project and help to provide equine therapy for disabled children in Cape Town. This incredibly unique and highly sought after project, works to aid children with very little mobility by giving them the chance to experience freedom in their limbs through horseback riding. With the assistance of volunteers and trained instructors, disabled children can have access to free therapy sessions, helping them to develop their motor skills while increasing their confidence and strength. Attendees of the free sessions include children from a variety of disadvantaged backgrounds and the safety and beauty of the projects location provide a real impetus for not only the children’s attendance, but also for their overall wellbeing. This is a fantastic opportunity for children also to get close to horses, which have proven to be of great benefit to children with special needs. What a great project to join to combine your love of horses while supporting vulnerable children in the community.
Why choose this project?
This project is fortunate enough to have over 100 volunteers who serve in various capacities: instructors, physiotherapists, helpers with pupils and horses, as well as members of management and fundraising committees. By getting involved, you can add to the success of this initiative while learning about a wonderful and creative form of therapy in a very beautiful setting. The community involvement and co-operation on a wider scale is a very distinctive element of the projects make-up and both pupils and volunteers will benefit from the communication and friendships which develop.
Role of the volunteer
As a volunteer you will be paramount to the growing confidence of a number of disabled children by helping them to actively ride and experience the mobility sensations for themselves. Volunteers are needed to help assist with horse riding classes and are a really valued support. In some cases, 2 volunteers are needed per horse and rider as they need support while mounting, dismounting and riding. There are currently 15 working horses on site which are all carefully selected for their temperament, health and fitness and intensive training is required for each horse before they are ready to be ridden. These elements are all required if this project is to succeed in providing specialised therapy and to be successful at that. In many cases this will be a child’s first uninterrupted or unaffected relationship that they may have experienced in their life so the rider-horse relationship is incredibly important.
Aside from riding duties, you will also need to help in the care and grooming of horses, stables and the surrounding areas. This project can be physically strenuous – You must be ready to work hard and for those who do; you will be incredibly rewarded at the end.
The ability to ride a horse will be an advantage; however you will be adequately trained upon arrival to the project. As mentioned above, there is a lot of physical work involved so volunteers do need to be physically fit. Committed volunteers are expected as this is a competitive project with few spaces and long hours, so hard working volunteers are desirable. Aside from this, volunteers should have a love for children and patience with disabilities. You will be asked to send your CV/ resume before being accepted onto this project.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To share your skills and have a positive impact on the lives of South African children
To have an adventure in an incredibly varied country
To gain an insight into the healing power of horses
Cape Town is considered amongst the most beautiful cities in the world, with its crystal blue waters resting under the shadow of the magnificent Table Mountain, with the city wrapped around its base. Our Equine Therapy placement is based south of the city in the beautiful Constantia Valley, where it has been stationed since 1983. Here, the project benefits from a large community of volunteers who live in the surrounding suburbs.
The Constantia Valley boasts a vibrant array of hills, forests, vineyards and stately historic homes, all just outside of the city centre. Volunteers stay either on-site in a cosy log cabin, or at a nearby homestay, with regular city nights-out organised with volunteers on other city community projects included. In your spare time, the more adventurous can take at trip to meet the infamous Great White Shark or with plenty of beaches and trips to the wine regions for those preferring to stay on dry land, there is always much to do here.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 4 – 26 weeks
- Cost: £1705 / $2984 for 4 weeks
£345 / $604 for each extra week
- Requirements: Age 18+
- Location: Cape Town, South Africa
- Project activities: Assist disabled children on horseback, clean and groom horses, assist in riding classes, muck out stables
- Working hours: Monday to Friday 08.00-12.30 and 14.00-18.00
- Project availability: Project closed during schools holidays: During this time, volunteers can get involved in care for the horses and PR support with sponsorship and admin activities however there will be no hands on equine therapy.
- Arrival day: Thursday
What is included
- Accommodation: Basic shared cabin on location
- Food: Self catered – food budget given to volunteers on a weekly basis
- Airport pick up and drop off from Cape Town Airport
- Training: Pre-departure pack, Learning Reflection Manual, 3-night Cape Town orientation and project induction provided
- Support: 24-hour support
- Monthly social for all volunteers to get together
- Excursions: Staff on site can help to arrange extra excursions for your weekends (at extra cost to you)
- SIM Card
- Cape Peninsula tour
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check.