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“The passion and amazing calmness I felt was incredible,” comments a teenager when asked about her experience as a participant in the Leading the Way program offered through Abbotsford Community Services thanks to funding from Telus.
“The laughing felt awesome!” says another. Leading the Way is an equine centered healing program for kids and youth in the care of the Ministry of Children and Families.
Foster kids. It’s not easy being a youth trying to find your way in this big messy complicated world. It’s even harder if you are a foster child. Every one of the participants in the Leading the Way program has experienced some form of trauma. Neglect. Addicted parents. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. ADHD. Any individual needs help trying to cope with these types of trauma. But for many kids and youth, traditional forms of help (therapy) simply don’t cut it.
Equine therapy,however, can make a world of difference.
There’s an interesting book written by Tim Hayes: The Power of Horses to Heal – Riding Home. In it, Hayes comments, “Horses don’t care who you are, what you’ve done, or what you believe. They only care about how you behave with them. This enables them to give unconditional acceptance to a troubled teen who is revealing his or her true self. This acceptance creates a feeling a self-worth.”
Leading the Way hopes to enhance participants’ ability to function in their home, at school and in the community. One caregiver noted that her foster daughter has learned the skills to value herself just as she is. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all need?
For more information call Lisa @ 604-308-7623 or Becky @ 778-880-8555 Ext. 1