New Job Opportunities for People with Special Needs

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Graduates with Mr Mohd Salleh, Board Member of Temasek Cares, HRH Princess Haya, President of the Fédération Equestre Internationale and Ms Low Yen Ling, Mayor for the South West

November 14, 2014 saw the successful graduation of the inaugural batch of participants from the Temasek Cares – Equine-Assisted Training and Employment (EQUATE) programme. Graduates were awarded their completion certificates. Launched in 2012, the programme provides training and support for persons with special needs and places them upon graduation in equine-related vocations such as professional grooms, groundskeepers and maintenance crew. Trainers from the Association for People with Special Needs – Centre for Adults (APSN CFA) worked hand in hand with job supervisors from the Equestrian Federation of Singapore to redesign processes and help new employees make the transition to the demands of their work responsibilities and environment.

With a specialised training process developed by the APSN CFA, this equine therapy-related pilot programme aims to serve 46 trainees by 2017. The Temasek Cares – EQUATE programme complements the EQUAL programme, which provides equine therapy to disadvantaged youth in Singapore.

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About Equine Therapy

Equine therapy is a treatment that includes activities involving horses to promote physical, occupational and emotional growth in persons with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, autism, cerebral palsy, dementia, depression, developmental delay, Down syndrome, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems.

Why Horses Help

Horses have become the most popular animals to use in this kind of therapy because they are very responsive to people’s actions. Horses have a particular ability to mirror the feelings of people close to them. Since horses have social and responsive characteristics, it is easy for them to create a connection with humans. Their large and majestic appearance forces individuals, who spend time around them to gain trust and confidence rapidly.

Did you know…

Since the dawn of time, people of all ages have been drawn to horses because of their beauty, grace, powerful stature. Today, it has been clinically documented that just being around horses changes the brainwave patterns of humans, lowers blood pressure and reduces stress. So much so, that combat veterans and terror victims with post-traumatic stress disorder also often turn to equine therapy.