Not a month ago, some workers at El Refugio del Burrito thought it nice and interesting that we participated in a Project from the Andalucian TV Station "Canal Sur Televisión", whereby anyone could send a video that would later be broadcast in the station to wish Andalucía a very merry Christmas.
We focused on donkey therapy which is directed at children that are mentally and/or physically disabled. The therapy consists of the implementation of different exercises depending on each child and on their level of disability. Some of the children are able to ride on the donkeys back and others in the carriage, during this exercise the children are presented with other objects with which they interact.
Our Donkey Assisted Riding Therapy Programme for Children with Special Needs at Córdoba Zoo is continually growing. More than 244 children are now enjoying the palliative effects this type of Therapy offers to its users. The Riding Therapy Sessions are still offered free of charge for all those involved, of course.
Bartolo is a gorgeous looking, hard working donkey. He came to us from another charity, CYD Santamaría, that deals with horses. They had found him abandoned in the Guadalhorce Valley area, near Málaga, wandering around aimlessly.
Ever since his arrival to El Refugio del Burrito he has turned his life around and now has decided to complete his studies with a degree in Donkey Assisted Riding Therapy for Children With Special Needs, and has already won an award to go and work at Córdoba Zoo, where fellow therapist Carmelo is retiring after working with children for the past two years.
Thanks to our Donkey Assisted Riding Therapy Mobile Unit we are able to carry out Donkey Assisted Activities within the Málaga province and on friday 26th of March we set off for two centres in Alhaurín de la Torre (Málaga), where we were visiting the Early Care Centre and the Day Centre for the Elderly in Alhaurín.
In spite of centuries of being belittled by popular beliefs and misconceptions, donkeys have proven to us all just how much they can teach us. Alex is a very special boy, affected by Autism. He is now 14 years old. He began attending our Donkey Assisted Riding Therapy Sessions at Córdoba Zoo two years ago. Alex was a very energetic, yet a very shy boy. He was always afraid of engaging in any kind of new activity, and was reluctant with physical contact... until he met his new Therapists.
Volunteering for our Donkey Assisted Riding Therapy sessions is a truly rewarding task. You will be helping so the session runs smoothly, either by helping children on the donkeys or setting up the arena and clearing the area after the session.