They arrived in Bradet, in the heart of Romania, in the past weeks: to welcome the donkeys Sile and Remy, saved by the Romanian base of the charity The Donkey Sanctuary and future donkey-therapists, there were 99 children in needs living at the large residential school and a brand new stable, built with the support of MediAsinus, the informal network born last year to bring together the main European organizations dealing with donkey assisted activities.
Last October, MediAsinus held the first international meeting in Biella, Italy, gathering over two hundred donkey lovers from all over Europe. Now the organizers have donated € 1,555, most of the surplus of the conference, to cover the expenses for building the stable and realize the first step for the new donkey assisted therapy project by the Donkey Sanctuary on Romanian territory.
MediAsinus includes Medi'âne Association, Centro Referenze Nazionale per gli Intervetni Assistiti con gli Animali (CRN IAA), Raglio.com, Fondation A et P Sommer and Il Rifugio degli Asinelli ONLUS, the Italian base of The Donkey Sanctuary, a UK-based charity which has been working Worldwide to protect donkeys in distress for over 45 years and which has developed several projects of donkey assisted therapy to improve the lives of thousands children with special needs . The choice of Biella as the venue of the conference was dictated by its closeness to Il Rifugio, which currently homes 120 donkeys, mules and hinnies.
Now, three months after the conference, the network MediAsinus calculated aa surplus of € 1,855: 300 € will be used by the Association Medi'âne to keep the ranks of the network for the next two years, in preparation for the second international congress (Netherlands 2016), while the remaining € 1,555 will be used to cover the costs of the barn in Bradet, next to a large residential school that homes 99 orphans and children with special needs.
Now the site has opened the doors to donkeys Sile and Remy: the first is an expert donkey therapist, while Remy, who has shown a balanced attitude and a true passion for human contacts, has just been chosen to become co-therapist.
Andrew Judge, head of The Donkey Sanctuary’s European operations, said: “I’m delighted to be launching this new project: we know that caring for and interacting with donkeys really helps children benefit emotionally and physically. So we can’t wait to see an improvement once the donkeys and children get to know each other.
“It’s been a fantastic start – the children are so excited about having the donkeys around and put so much effort into getting the stables ready especially for them. Now that Sile and Remy, the donkeys, have arrived this week, the pupils will be learning about their care during the winter before beginning riding therapy in the spring, under the guidance of our experts.”
This new project in Bradet is The Donkey Sanctuary’s third in Romania. The others are outreach projects running from the charity’s rescue base in Cernavoda.
The Donkey Sanctuary has been working in Romania since 2007. Since then it has rescued scores of donkeys and mules and currently has 61 in its care. Some of these rescued donkeys who make a full recovery may go on to be used in therapy projects. For more information visit The Donkey Sanctuary Website.