Horizon Farm Trust

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In January 2004, the Horizon Farm Trust took occupation of a 30 acre farm in Shongweni where a base could be developed for the provision of services to intellectually impaired adults, children with disabilities and at-risk youth.

While the special education needs of children with intellectual impairment are largely catered for by special schools and training centres, the responsibility of caring for an adult ‘child’ who is above school age rests heavily on the family. It is this gap in welfare services which led to the establishment of a farm based residential centre by the Horizon Farm Trust, which provides long term or respite accommodation and meaningful occupation to adults who are cognitively impaired.

Long term accommodation for intellectually impaired adults remains the primary focus of Horizon Farm Trust and two levels of service are offered:
1. The Main House and Lodges, where residents live together with full time, qualified care givers.
2. The ‘Village’ - a central living base with surrounding rooms / cottages which form an assisted-living scenario, where more able individuals are largely responsible for their own care in a monitored environment.

Horizon Farm Trust has always believed in a strong work ethic - people, regardless of ability or disability need meaningful occupation for quality of life, personal development, and a healthy self-image. Each resident and villager is encouraged to participate in household chores and to maximize their potential through work on the farm in such areas as the, vegetable gardens, animal paddocks and horse care - all of which will contribute to the overall sustainability of the farm. This is especially facilitated through the intervention of our volunteers who work alongside the residents. Craft and recreation groups - often with outside facilitators help to ensure the ongoing self-development of our residents and villagers.

The animal assisted therapy program at Horizon Farm Trust forms part of both daily residential life and the outreach to the community. We focus mainly on the use of horses for therapeutic purposes, as well as providing residents and visitors (children with disabilities and at-risk youth from the community) with opportunities to be ‘up close and personal’ with a variety of small animals, all of whom offer unconditional love and acceptance to their human counterparts.

An outdoor camp site has been developed at Horizon Farm, for the use of groups of young people who are ‘at-risk’ due to trauma or stress or who simply need an opportunity to spend time with animals and in nature - for a period of personal and social development, encouraging problem solving and leadership skills and a deeper understanding of the natural environment. A double story wooden Boma was built next to the dam in 2006, and an ablution block with toilets, showers and a ‘donkey-boiler’ for hot water added in 2007. Some of our beneficiaries to date have included Boys Town, St Martin’s Children’s Home, the Boys Brigade, the Kwanyuswa Community Outreach, and a number of schools and youth groups who have limited resources and access to the outdoors. Members of various Scouts groups have used this venue while working towards badges and awards. While HFT provides the venue and facilities at no cost, programs are run by the caregivers, group leaders, etc from the each visiting group. Physical work on the farm is expected as a form of ‘sweat equity’ in return for use of the venue, and while groups are encouraged to bring their own food etc, HFT endeavours to find outside support for needy beneficiaries by way of sponsorship and donations.

The Horizon Farm Trust has initiated a project which is unique not only in the diversity of its activities, but also in the emphasis on sustainability and the integration of disabled people with their able-bodied peers through various farm activities. We believe that Horizon Farm provides an excellent environment for the development of life skills and the growth of individuals to their full potential.

Operates in: Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
Established in: March 2005

Non-Profit Organisation Number: 005-889
Public Benefit Organisation Number: 930011164
Section 21 Company Number:
Trust Number: IT 1872/95

Contact person: Nell Cronje
Physical address: Ingweni Road, Gillits
Postal address: Postnet Suite 10119, Private Bag X7005, Hillcrest, 3650
Website: www.horizonfarmtrust.org.za

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