Each child taking part in this project is given the opportunity to develop its autonomy, learning abilities, motivation and empathy on the basis of discoveries made and experiences gained in the animal world. We also want to use the children’s existing shaping and action competences to implement environmentally-balanced concepts as exemplified by animals in a practice-oriented and autonomous way. At the end of the one-year project a child should have learned that it can decide every day which influence it wants to have in this world and, ideally, demonstrate initiative.
Every year 8 children aged 6 - 12 who
• are anxious, reckless or don’t know any limits,
• are excluded and isolated,
• often come into conflicts at school, or
• need more psychic and physical strength,
are selected for the project.
Children are selected on the basis of recommendations by the staff of “Kindertafel Vohwinkel” in accordance with the parents’ consent and the child’s wish.
Costs amounting to € 3,500.00 for 8 children are borne by “Verein Gesundheit durch Tiere”.
The project started in May 2016 when preparations were made.
• selected the species,
• decided to give a talk on their favourite animal to their parents, brothers and sisters and guests at the final event (issuance of animal protection certificate),
• helped design their monthly questionnaire.
The first course is scheduled to start in September 2016. Depending on what a child needs, the species selected and the targets there are the following areas of intervention:
• motor skills / physical feeling
• speech / communication
• cognition / learning
There are the following animal-assisted interactions:
• free interaction, e.g. playing
• controlled interaction, e.g. observing
• ritualized interaction, e.g. signaling acts
• achieving objectives for each child in the best possible way
• paying attention to animal protection
• improved sustainability by supporting a child’s initiatives
• documentation and target evaluation and/or target control (project and child’s individual targets)
Our project is given specialist assistance by the members of our advisory board Dr. rer. nat. Katrin Umlauf, Dr. med. vet. Peter Engelhardt, Thomas Kleinen, Master of Science in Psychology