13 January 2021

TİKA Supports an Equine-Assisted Therapy Center Built for Children with Disabilities in Croatia

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) built common use areas in a Hippotherapy (Equine-Assisted Therapy) Center that operates in Senj, Croatia, and supports the treatment of children with disabilities and their reintegration into society.

TİKA built a fully-equipped socialization and waiting house for children who will undergo therapy, common use areas, and riding halls and stables for horses used in therapy, as part of the “Senj Hippotherapy Center Capacity Building Project,” implemented in cooperation with the “Ana Association,” which operates in Senj, Croatia. The project aimed to increase the capacity of the center and support children from different cities who are unable to receive treatment due to financial reasons, as well as children who come from Bosnia and Herzegovina in summer without their parents.

The delivery ceremony of the center was attended by Dr. Mato Cacic, Head of the Department of Livestock Production Sector in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Croatia; Jure Turina, President of the Association; Muslim and Christian religious leaders in the region; and press members.

In his speech at the ceremony, Dr. Mato Cacic, Head of the Department of Livestock Production Sector in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Croatia, stressed the importance of Hippotherapy for the reintegration of children with disabilities into society. Cacic thanked TİKA for its support.

In his speech, Jure Turina, President of the Association, thanked the people of the Republic of Turkey for the project and stated that TİKA provided the support they had been expecting for years and that they would continue treating children under the best conditions thanks to this support.

Stating that TİKA has always supported vulnerable groups in countries where it operates, TİKA’s Zagreb Coordinator Sedef Bulut said that they hoped they would continue to implement similar projects in Croatia. Bulut noted that the Senj Hippotherapy Center Capacity Building Project is the gift of the people of the Republic of Turkey to children with disabilities in Croatia.

Equine-Assisted Therapy (Hippotherapy)

Hippotherapy is a method based on the use of the characteristic movements of horses as a treatment strategy in order to reduce both the physical and social effects of many neurological and non-neurological disorders such as autism, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and psychological disorders.

It is an effective therapy method in terms of education and health and has been used widely in the world and in Turkey in recent years. The method is used to support the treatment of autism, Down syndrome, hearing and learning disabilities, orthopedic disorders, brain injuries, spinal cord disorders, and many mental disorders.  Equine-Assisted Therapy supports equilibrium reactions in the trunk, blood circulation, and the development of head and trunk control and facilitates respiratory control.


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