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AMADO - Animal Assisted Therapy

An example of how AMADO succeeds

Amado children

Riduwaan Groenewald 10 Years old
Diagnosis: severely mentally handicapped, right hemiplegic, VP shunt, squint

Gross motor co-ordination after entering AMADO six months ago:

Balance and equilibrium reaction have improved. He used to be very clumsy and uncoordinated, now he is adventurous and is involved in activities such as kicking and catching balls. His posture, midline crossing and his walking gait have improved. He can sit at his desk for longer periods to complete tasks. This used to be very strenuous for him.

Fine motor co-ordination after entering Amado:

His eye movement has improved. He is able to follow activities and focus on specific tasks. His concentration and attention span has improved. Before riding horses, he used to be easily distracted by external stimuli. He is more focused and can complete tasks. He no longer gives up on activities when he struggles with it; he figures out ways to complete tasks at hand.


He is now able to dress and undress himself with little or no assistance. In the past his mother had to do everything for him. He is able to wash himself and brush his teeth. He is also able to assist others with self-care activities.

Speech/ language:

Riduwaan’s vocabulary and language skills are much better. He has more control over his drooling and speech. He is now able to listen and follow-through instructions. He can communicate his feelings, which was near impossible for him in the past.

Perceptual ability:

His visual memory and spatial relations have improved and he is more aware of his physical surroundings.

In summary:

Riduwaan has made tremendous progress since he started the horse-riding programme. It has benefited him both physically and emotionally. He is very motivated and his self-esteem has improved. He shows leadership skills and he is able to wait his turn. This was very difficult for him, being an only child. He thrives on the programme.

Riduwaan is just one example of how the 60 children in the riding programme benefit from AMADO.

AMADO objectives:

1. Provide equine assisted therapy to 60 children per week.
2. Find employment for school leavers.
3. Give self confidence and a sense of self worth to these vulnerable children.
4. Treat each child with respect and love.
5. Create awareness for the miracles that can overcome injustice.
6. Assist the family by giving these children a greater sense of independence so that they no longer need full time care and members of their family can find employment.

We have and are achieving all the objectives set for ourselves.
We started off with 40 and we now have 60 children who receive equine assisted therapy.

We identify and nurture each child’s interest to stimulate skills development, thus opening doors for the child for the future. We are proud to say that we have found employment for all our school leavers since the project started. They are now proud, confident, wage earning members of the society.

We have given self confidence and a sense of self worth to these fantastic, disabled children by
putting them on and around horses and allowing them to be free from their shackles. When you
cannot help yourself in and out of the bath, but you can control a 400kg horse, you gain a gross of
self-confidence and you feel on top of the world. In the process, the children also learn to treat
animals with the respect they deserve.

It is very difficult not to treat these brave children with anything but respect and love, however, it is
not something they always get in their communities.

We have managed to create awareness for the miracles by talking at clubs and societies and being
featured in newspapers, magazines and on television, telling our story and reporting on the miracles we achieve at AMADO every day.

We are assisting 60 families by giving these children a greater sense of independence so that they no longer need full time care. Several of the children’s family members and carers of our children are now able to leave their homes to earn much-needed wages.

Read more about AMADO:

~ Amado main page
~ More about AMADO and the process of selecting children
~ History and background of M'Lani Basson
~ AMADO website

Read here all about the AMADO project

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To provide for and help as many children and animals in need as we possibly can - for those who are being abused and left destitute. Through effective implementation of certain therapies, install a sense of worthiness in all beings cared for and inspiring hopes and dreams for a beautiful future. Helping to alleviate suffering to those who cannot help themselves.

AfricaWorx serves with integrity and a quality that surpasses the mediocre. We believe in what we do, that it fulfills a greater cause and purpose and we are creating a legacy. We do this by making an impact globally and by our accomplishments a ripple effect is created.

Our mission is to be an inspiration for others and contribute to a greater universal cause.

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