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Project Unicorn

Problem Statement

Experiential learning is a powerful tool and more can be done to increase both the number and variety of experiential learning programmes in the social sector, including the caregiving space.

Among experiential learning programmes, Equine-Assisted Learning is unique in its use of a living thing as an intervention tool - one that can communicate and relate to the client in ways not possible in human-to-human relationships. Unlike programmes such as outdoor adventure, where the focus is on overcoming obstacles,

and music therapy, where the focus is on self-expression, the focus is on relationship-building in Equine-Assisted Learning.

Solution

To develop emotional resilience in caregivers through working with therapy horses, leading to increased psychological and emotional well-being of caregivers.

Project Unicorn curricula focuses on developing the following skills in caregivers: managing impulsivity, empathy, self-awareness, thinking flexibly, exercising persistence, navigating boundaries and building confidence. Caregivers will learn these skills not through words or text, but experientially. The experience with horses is combined with debrief sessions with the caregivers. Utimately, the aim is to allow caregivers to arrive at the learning outcome on his own, in his own time and on his own terms, instead of being told what to think and do.

Outcomes

Through this project, the relationship that a caregiver builds with a horse reflects the relationship he has built with his ward, and provides a rich and sometimes intense experience for self-reflection and self-directed change.

  • Grantee

    Grantee icon
    EQUAL-ARK Singapore Ltd
  • Beneficiaries

    Caregivers icon
    Persons with Disabilities & Caregivers

more about grantee

EQUAL-ARK is a charity with IPC status that rehabilitates at-risk youths, persons with special needs, and the elderly with dementia through working with therapy horses. It was launched in 2011 as a community engagement programme under the Equestrian Federation of Singapore. Today, EQUAL-ARK serves 600 beneficiaries every year from schools, children's homes, nursing homes and other social service organisations.