Dear HOPE Supporter,
We are excited to continue sharing the HOPE 2021 Annual Report written by HOPE Program Manager Lucia Zhou. Keep reading to find out the exciting programs that took place in 2021.
Equine Assisted Service (EAS) Lessons
HOPE continues to provide Equine Assisted Services (EAS) with weekly lessons throughout the year. The spring season is from March to June with the fall season from September to December. Program operates Monday to Friday.
In 2021, the number of regular participants gradually increased from 11 to 21 with 10-25 volunteers coming to HOPE every week to help provide services. Every child has made gratifying progress as tracked through progress notes.
The 7th EAS Summer Camp
In July, for 4 consecutive weeks, 16 kids and 43 volunteers participated.
The kids learned to ride and how to take care of horses, created horse-themed handmade creations, enjoyed music classes, and played games. The coach designed personalized activities according to the specific situation of the riders and arranged the most suitable volunteer partner for each rider. The HOPE camp also gave a great break for parents during the hot summer weeks.
Of note, this summer camp was completely planned, organized and implemented by the HOPE local team, without the on-site support of foreign experts. During the camp, the team successfully dealt with changing weather effects such as rainstorms and thunderstorm, while maintaining the quality of service that HOPE is known for.
During the four-day-a-week activities, the connection between the riders and the horses gradually strengthened, and the trust between the children and the volunteers gradually increased as well. Everyone witnessed the children's progress in communication, emotional improvement, and social interaction among other aspects.
Public Welfare Open Day
This event is usually held on Thursdays throughout the regular HOPE session. In 2021, it served a total of 68 children from 7 organizations and 18 families. A total of 16 events were held throughout the year, and about 10 volunteers participated in each event.
Organizations that participated: Bethel (a charity serving children with visual impairment), Renyuyuan (a learning center for children with special needs), Beijing Huiling (a charity for adults with special needs), Zhi’ai school (a small school for children with special needs), Nuanxin Courtyard (a small school for young adults with special needs), Youli School (a kindergarten for integration, accepting children with special needs), Rainbow Rehabilitation Center (a school for children with special needs).
Artwork activities in the barn
For 12 consecutive weekends from October to December, artwork/handcraft activities classes were held. These activities served a 108 participants, including 37 families with special needs.
During the weekend handcraft time, art allowed children, volunteers, and parents to integrate naturally, enabling therapeutic benefits to occur naturally in the process of creation. The environment of the horse stable is open and natural, which can make people feel physically and mentally happy. These activities were very popular among parents, potentially allowing them time to enjoy and reflect on the world around them.
Handmade art activities, including horse-themed hand-paint, treasure hunts around the horse stable, natural smart classrooms, hand-made cloth tigers, woodworking, flower arrangements, etc. are all rich and interesting activities that were done.
Prevocational training for young adults with special needs
HOPE is currently serving 3 trainees who come to HOPE for 1-3 half days a week. Under the guidance of coaches or the support of volunteers, they clean the stalls and the barn environment, brush, and walk horses.
This is a transition service for the young adults with special needs, also known as "vocational training". Although the number of people currently serving is small, HOPE has carried out various programs to find the best format. One participant joined HOPE over 10 years ago, while others are new and have never had contact with horses before. They have achieved remarkable results and they are very fond of coming to work at the HOPE barn.
Where can young adults with special needs go after they age-out and must leave the school system? They may not be able to find employment, and staying at home can be challenging mentally and physically without a day-to-day focus. The barn environment is relatively quiet, and there is no complicated interpersonal communication, only work cleaning and caring for the horse. Many enjoy the repetitive work of a chore with a clear goal and expectation. Participants may find it interesting to watch and interact with the horses in their spare time. HOPE continues to explore this project and hope to open a new path of supportive employment for the young adults with special needs.
265 volunteers participated in various services throughout the year, with a cumulative volunteer time of 4,400 hours. Specifically, summer camp volunteers, mainly students, contributed more than 1,200 hours by 43 people.
There are 42 regular and substitute volunteers in the EAS weekly lessons contributing more than 2,600 hours of volunteer service. Here, we would like to express our gratitude to all the partners who provided year-round service or contributed dozens of hours: Wang Yuqi, Li Shuang, Shen Qianrong, Huang Wei, Liu Baozhong, Grace Yu Zhaojin, Liu Haohao, Zhou Qian, Emma Qian Jiabei, Li Zixin, Leah Newey, Pan Xiaoduo, Yao Kailin, Nicola Murphy, Chen Yanyuan, Li Man, Hu Jingyan, Lin Yujia, Wu Hui, Liu Bing, Lin Ping, Ding Shuangyang.
In the artwork activities, a total of 25 volunteers assisted the children, took photos, made short videos, etc., and 7 handicraft teachers volunteered to contribute their fantastic art skills.
The students in Haidian Foreign Language School founded HOPE Club with 48 club members for the 1st year. They provided hand-painting, graphic design, event planning and other services for the HOPE project, contributing more than 300 volunteer hours. This is the first student volunteer club in China specially established for HOPE. Many thanks to the main founders such as Lu Yaning, Wan Yunxi, Zhou Zhibin and all the students!
There are also volunteer families such as young student Yin Muting, her father Yin Zhen and mother Liu Wei, who have all participated in events together, have a high attendance rate, and actively participate in various activities for HOPE throughout the year. Thank you for the loving family!
We are so thankful for all the amazing supporters of HOPE, our partcipants, volunteers, donors, horses and staff. We would not be able to continue providing these services without your support.
Next week we'll be sending out Part Three of the Annual Report, so keep an eye on your inbox.
Thank you always for your continued support,
The HOPE Team