Courtesy of Engen, children living with disabilities celebrated International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD) on 3 December 2021, grooming and riding horses at The EARTH Centre.
The EARTH Centre is a non-profit company made up of individuals who are passionate about strengthening and educating special needs and disabled people through horses.
The Centre in Ruimsig, Roodepoort specialises in interactive programmes for children with disabilities such as, but not limited to, Autism, ADD and ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, genetic disorders, hearing and visual impairments, mental impairment, Spina Bifida, Trauma and Abuse.
For the children, who hail from Zandspruit township near Cosmo City in Johannesburg, the Engen sponsored visit to The EARTH Centre was an experience to be cherished.
“None of the children have ever had the opportunity to stroke, groom or sit on a horse and our Horse-Riding Therapy goes above and beyond what can be achieved in a therapy room,” says The EARTH Centre sponsor liaison, Julia Morris.
“Their morning was spent in the countryside, breathing in fresh air, playing in a safe and secure environment and meeting and interacting with our equine therapists and miniature donkeys.”
For Engen, disability inclusion is a key social investment focus area, giving the company the opportunity to contribute towards inclusive disability rights in South Africa.
“The rationale behind our drive to support persons with disabilities is not only about upholding the Constitutional principles of non-discrimination on the basis of disability but also to put tangible measures into place to support developmental interventions, so that people living with disabilities can become inclusive, contributing members of society,” says Yusa’ Hassan, Engen’s Managing Director and CEO.
“As a caring and inclusive company with ‘heart’, this aligns with Engen’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which endeavour to ensure a better and more sustainable future for all.”
Hassan adds that Engen is humbled to play a small part in providing a memorable experience for the children.
“As a company, we support government’s efforts to create a better life for all, and sincerely hope that that International Day of People with Disability helps break down barriers and creates an inclusive and accessible society for all.”