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March 14, 2018

IN THE SADDLE: Therapeutic riding creates chances to achieve for young people with special needs

For many young people in the Middle East, barriers such as conflict, poverty, inequality and discrimination stand in the way of what they hope to achieve in life.

Through its Born to Be youth engagement programme, Deutsche Bank is working to change the lives and prospects of the next generation - because every young person deserves the chance to become who they were born to be. In 2017, Born to Be helped change the lives of more than 1.2 million young people through 158 education-led projects in 25 countries.

Since February 2014, under Deutsche Bank’s global Born to Be youth engagement programme, the Deutsche Bank Middle East Foundation has supported a Therapeutic Horse Riding Programme for Children with Disabilities at the Rashid Pediatric Therapy Center in the United Arab Emirates.

Therapeutic Horse Riding, commonly known as ‘Hippotherapy’ is the use of horses and equine-assisted activities in order to achieve goals that enhance physical, emotional, social, cognitive, behavioral and educational skills for people with disabilities. By covering operational costs, this partnership has enabled the Rashid Centre to maintain their access to the needed facilities, horses and professional instructors to sustain the programme, providing students access to a unique form of learning and encouraging them to push their personal boundaries.

Riding is a highly physical activity that demands balance, co-ordination, discipline and judgment. These are all essential requirements for the students to be able to function independently at home, at school and in the community. As they master these skills, their confidence and self-esteem begin to flourish. The students are also shown how to look after horses, a dimension that helps them become more comfortable and confident in dealing with other people.

Each academic year runs from October to March and consists of two 8-week terms, supporting 8 different children with disabilities in each term, 16 children in total per year. At Rashid Centre, two horses are brought to the school every Thursday morning where two Hippotherapy-trained therapists deliver the weekly sessions with the help of two Deutsche Bank staff volunteers. Since the programme’s inception in 2014, 59 different children have benefited from the Hippotheray sessions, which have been supported by around 100 Deutsche Bank staff volunteers.



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Last Update: October 22, 2018
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