Talking about the daily stress caused by many factors of modern life like COVID and war, we mostly mean adults. However, children take everything that happens much harder than adults do, and the emotions from the experience stick in their memory longer. Rest is the key to good mood, well-being, and mental balance, and is also the best opportunity to regain strength and improve health. This can be achieved with a skillful combination of “classes outside”, learning secrets of nature with the ability to communicate with peers. Joint trips and tours unite people. It’s easy to find friends, like-minded people with whom you can have fun and useful time in such circumstances.
On April 7th, as part of the International Health Day, a tour of the “Malyatko” Medical and Health Facility was organized for the pupils of Transcarpathian Regional Ecological and Naturalistic Center for Student Youth (TRENCSY) and our young citizens who were forced to leave their homes. The children had the opportunity to communicate with a great number of animals, which are one of the oldest companions of man – horses. In addition to horses, the kids got acquainted with other inhabitants of the animal complex, namely: goats, lambs, bunnies, chickens, geese, and ducks.
Ms. Oksana, the founder of the horse yard, spoke about the peculiarities of keeping animals, caring for them, and their nutrition. Horses among domestic animals had the deepest admiration among children. According to Ms. Oksana, horses love carrots, apples, sugar, and crackers. The children happily treated the horses to the delicacies they brought with them. Some children could not be “pulled back” from the horses.
We need to note that the staff of the center provided psychological support to children through hippotherapy (horseback riding). Two hours in the open riding arena, accompanied by instructor Ms. Oksana and an 8-year-old mare named Arnica. Children rode horses and listened to interesting stories about horses. The children of IDPs also visited the physiology office, where they received qualified care and physiotherapy procedures.
In addition, young nature lovers observed spring phenomena outside: appearing buds on the trees and bushes, the blossoming of spring flowers, the appearance of ants and other insects on the bark, listening to the sounds of birds, paying attention to the brightness and strength of spring sun and blue sky. We remembered which birds settled and wintered near us observing the birds, and which have just returned from warm lands or we are waiting for their appearance from day today. At the end of the tour, the children enthusiastically played the ecological and entertaining game “Air – Water – Earth”, demonstrating excellent knowledge of the animal world and the surroundings in which animals live.
The participants said “It is a wonderful day. Even the weather helps us, the children smile, commenting on the tour.” Thus, the relaxation was combined with positive emotions, new experiences, and interesting information! Fresh air and interesting and varied leisure activities benefited everyone. After all, contact with nature restores the supply of vitality and gives vitality to the spirit!
The event was held in cooperation with the Institute of Ecological and Religious Studies (IERS) (headed by Alexander Bokotey) and the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU Bundesverband, NABU International), project coordinator Ivan Tymofeiev).
Oksana Kremin, head of the department of organizational and mass work of TRENCSY and
Informational Service of IRCEF