Three employees of Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) had an enriching experience when they visited the “Healing with Horses” vacation camp in Buccoo, Tobago recently. Asha Bansee and Kerwin Clarke of TCL’s Marketing Department along with Franklyn Deomansingh of TCL’s Laboratory, travelled last Thursday (July 18) to the sister isle with the aim of exposing the children to the fun, interactive and educational side of cement.
These children, whose ages range from six to twelve, had the opportunity to craft artistic designs, from leaf platters to stepping stones, out of concrete. What made the experience so valuable to the TCL contingent was the fact that a significant percentage of the participants have special needs ranging from cerebral palsy to hearing disabilities. The children also come from various parts of Tobago and have different socio-economic backgrounds. The central focus of this vacation camp is the use of horseback riding as a form of therapy for the children. According to American horse trainer, Franklin Levinson, “it has been clinically documented that just being around horses changes human brainwave patterns. We calm down and become more centred and focused when we are with horses."
Speaking on her “Healing with Horses” adventure, TCL’s Customer Service Representative, Asha Bansee who spearheaded TCL’s visit for the second consecutive year, stated, “it was a great experience working with the children. They were very excited about TCL and getting involved in the activities.”
“Healing with Horses” is a non-profit organisation founded by Veronika Danzer La Fortune in 2010. It was established to offer children, inclusive of those with special needs, a space in which creativity, enjoyment and therapy would all be integrated. Although there are over 100 children, La Fortune finds it possible for everyone to share rides on the camp’s resident horses. In addition to a vacation camp, La Fortune also offers afterschool sessions in which children are exposed to music, arts and craft, dance, yoga, nature walks, sports, gardening, and of course, horseback riding.