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Sport made possible: social inclusion through therapeutic riding
Start date: 01 Jul 2016, End date: 31 Dec 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Individual EVS project in a special riding school for disabled people in the North East of Italy. One Lithuanian volunteer will be working with us for 11 months.“Anche noi a cavallo” offers volunteers an important experience of personal development through close contact with animals (horses, dogs, cats), working with disabled and marginalized adults and children. They gain insight into the world of disability and its difficulties, and see the important impact of our activities on the daily life of disadvantaged people in a natural surrounding. Since this is a small association, we welcome one volunteer at a time to offer him/her the most fulfilling experience, to allow them to interact with staff members and users, always having something stimulating to do. The activities in fact vary: assisting during therapeutic riding sessions, participating in vaulting class, working alongside with disadvantage and disabled people, assisting pet-therapies with dogs and cats, taking care of the animals (horses, dogs and cats), participating with psychomotricity activities, helping during summer day camps. All these activities are carried out in constant interaction both with staff members and with users, allowing social interaction, cultural integration, as well as learning, assured by the professionals who are ready to show her our practices and answer any questions. The staff at the riding school interacts continuously with the volunteers, accompanying them in their experience of informal learning in an atmosphere of mutual cooperation. Our helpful companions, horses and other pet-partners, add something special to our activity: for them all people are equal and there are no different nationalities, cultures or abilities.The results are mostly on the personal level for the volunteer, this is a growing experience in addition to a learning one, that will stay with them for the rest of their life. This experience will reinforce a positive attitude towards disadvantaged, disabled, marginalized people, integrate and appreciate new cultures in the daily life in the community, respecting individual and cultural differences. Volunteers will also be encouraged to share their experience and we will present it to the local community and schools, to show the possibilities offered by this programme. On these occasions, the benefits and growing opportunities of EVS and other European programmes will be introduced, encouraging young people to take active part in them. The occasions to share European projects is always important, since in Italy there is not yet a wide knowledge of the possibilities offered by Erasmus+, therefore is important to introduce young people to this valuable instrument, also considering that international experience is a positive factor when applying for a job, especially in this difficult moment for young people to find work. It is a growing experience, both personally and professionally, that will shape the future of some young volunteer.
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