Moedig Voorwaarts – which translates as ‘Courageously Advancing’ – is a charitable foundation that offers horse-riding lessons to more than 250 disabled and less-able people.
The benefits of horse-riding for those with disabilities include improved balance and muscle tone, sensory stimulation, and increased emotional connections.
But project coordinator Erna Bekkering explained that at one time the future of the stables was in doubt.
“It was a stable I considered for riding lessons years ago and I knew they had been on the brink of closing,” she said. “When I found out another group had their Community Program team project at a similar location I immediately thought of them.”
A team of 65 volunteers carried out refurbishments that included sanding, mending, cleaning and painting facilities at both the indoor and outdoor riding rings. They also constructed and painted a picnic table, assisted with some of the lessons, and donated colored reins to help the children learn where to put their hands.
“The most rewarding part was the looks on the children’s faces and the gratitude of the foundation’s board members. For the team, it was great to see we could accomplish a task this big in a limited timeframe,” Erna said.
The volunteers also enjoyed themselves. “This was the best project we have done,” said Mona Soufivand, while Menno Venner added: “I had so much fun!”