Horse therapy farm : necessary care

In Israel, in partnership with the Adelis Foundation, SSF-Sauveteurs Sans Frontières initiated an equitherapy farm in the kibbutz of Ourim, close to the Gaza Strip.
Created in 2016, the main aim of this program was to relieve patients’ suffering linked to post-traumatic stress. In fact, in areas bordering the Gaza Strip, there is an Israeli population of around 70,000 inhabitants spread across 81 villages and kibbutzes, regular targets for rockets and other missiles. The vast majority of children in these villages were already living in a state of permanent stress, alerted by sirens and regularly having to take shelter in bunkers. In response to these children’s difficulties, SSF created this farm with a therapeutic aim, and whose therapists use an innovative care technique, zootherapy.

The animal is used as a mediator to treat people suffering from sensory, physical, intellectual or psychological disorders. This therapeutic technique has proved its worth all over the world, and the effects are tangible from the very first sessions: the relationship with the animal promotes well-being, and brings physiological, psychomotor (lower heart rate, effect on tension) and psychological (stress reduction) benefits.

Then came October 7, 2023…

The farm, which had been closed for over 5 months, has just been reopened. In fact, the government has authorized the inhabitants of unattacked kibbutzes and mochavs to return to their homes in the area. At the beginning of March 2024, we reopened our horse-therapy farm on Kibbutz Ourim. 133 children have already signed up for the reinforced program with post-traumatic stress specialists. To keep up with demand, we’d like to reinforce the teams to accommodate an additional 150 children on the waiting list.

This therapeutic farm supports hundreds of children during this tormented period, helping them to manage their post-traumatic stress. Through these sessions, we continue to give them strength and hope, helping them to rebuild their lives and regain serenity.
Caring for children is vital to Israel’s future.