For 40 years, SARDA, a non- profit organization, has provided free therapeutic horse riding lessons to people living with disabilities. Since its inception in 1973 by Belinda Sampson and Joy Finlay, hundreds of people living with mental and physical disabilities have received therapy from horses, dedicated physiotherapists, equestrian specialists and selfless helpers.
The main objective of SARDA is to provide a fun way for riders with disabilities to reap the maximum therapeutic benefit from their lessons – physically, mentally and emotionally. Qualified SARDA instructors work closely with physiotherapists, doctors and remedial teachers. All instructors and helpers at SARDA are volunteers.
In its 40th year, the dedication of the SARDA team has been tested like never before. In March 2013, SARDA Cape Town was shocked at the news that the land that the non-profit organization had been leasing from the government since 16 July 1981, had been awarded to a third party in a land claim without any prior notification. This threat to the centre and the repercussions it holds for the indigent community it serves is far reaching. SARDA Cape Town, more than ever, is committed to continuing its therapy services to more than 220 learners from 14 Special Needs Schools in the Western Cape. SARDA also requires the land it operates on for fundraising purposes as the Association does not receive government support.
More vital than ever, too, is the need for financial support. SARDA not only depends on donor funds to cover its operational costs, but if/when necessary, it will require funds to enable a possible move if/when new premises have been identified, granted and found viable. This is a monumental task for which the organization is requesting your assistance and support.