El Hogar de Niños is an orphanage located outside of Santa Barbara, Honduras, providing a loving home for at-risk children and youth who come from backgrounds of extreme poverty as well as severe forms of abuse and neglect.
An assistant psychologist who had been working with the children at El Hogar since 2015, observed the deeply traumatic impact that the physical, emotional and sexual abuses the children had suffered had had on them. She believed that forms of animal therapy, including caring for and spending time with animals, would help many of the children learn to cope with their traumas and allow them to progress and adapt to a healthy social adult life. Mental health is a topic too often left unaddressed in developing countries like Honduras, and this project directly tackled child mental health and helped reduce the stigma around this .
Through the animal therapy program, children learn to control impulsivity, aggression and anxiety, as well as improving their self-esteem, concentration and social skills.
educate. funded the startup costs for this animal therapy programme, with the total costs amounting to $500 US dollars for two donkeys (a mother and her baby), a donkey shelter, and a fence, built by local volunteers and located at El Hogar Orphanage.
The video below shows the animal therapy farm in action, and the impact it has had at El Hogar.