On December 6, The Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) and VivaCell-MTS hosted children with disabilities and their parents participating in one of the joint projects of FPWC and VivaCell-MTS - in the second round of the hippotherapy program in Yerevan Zoo.
In June 2015, with the opening of the first inclusive playground in Yerevan Zoo, in the frames of the tripartite partnership of FPWC, VivaCell-MTS and Yerevan Municipality, a series of multi-component events was launched, the main objective of which is to integrate children with disabilities and to assist their rehabilitation.
This year’s hippotherapy program started in October. Due to VivaCell-MTS support, the number of days for the hippotherapy trainings has increased: instead of the previous two, now the children have three training days. This allows the participation of not only the beneficiaries of the last year, but the newly registered children as well. More than 80 children were registered for participation in this program this year.
Hippotherapy is a variety of therapeutic physical trainings, a form of rehabilitation, which is carried on through the contact with horses and horse riding. During the last decades the hippotherapy has been recognized as one of the most efficient means of rehabilitation of people with disabilities, especially children.
“This type of exercise therapy is very interesting and important. Of course, there are many known to the medicine ways of getting the desired result. However, this approach is special. Children join in the process of own rehabilitation, perceiving it as a game, rather than an intervention. This way children help reach the anticipated result. I think the program based on the ties between humans and the nature has positive psychological impact on parents as well. I am glad to state that our cooperation makes implementation of such program in our country feasible,” said VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian.
The children involved in this program have had an opportunity to participate in free of charge hippotherapy and riding courses, as well as had a chance to feed and take care of the horses.
One of the main advantages of this program is the venue of the hippodrome. Unlike hippotherapy centers, which, as a rule, are located outside the city, the hippodrome in Yerevan Zoo is much closer and provides an opportunity to join the program without additional travel expenses, especially for those participants who live in Yerevan.
In the last year, over thirty children participated in this program. Taking into account the importance of the program and the number of newly registered children, the authors of this initiative decided to make it permanent.