It’s a tough time to be a kid
Let’s face it. For many kids today, the world is an unkind place.
Violence and bullying in the schools is occurring at unprecedented levels, while family violence and child abuse also soar at home. Far too many children and teenagers suffer depression or seek an escape through substance abuse or suicide. Funding cuts have resulted in the elimination of support programs that, in times past, were there to help kids through, such as guidance counselors and social services.
Even on an academic level, funding cuts are adversely affecting our children. Vital programs are no longer offered in many schools, creating gaps in learning. From physical education and recess to health and nutrition, art and music, and hands-on science labs, children today are experiencing alarming shortcomings in their educational experiences. These gaps, left unfilled, will lead to a generation of people without the knowledge and skills they need to live as healthy and productive members of our community.
During educational programs and retreats, spending time with the rescued animals at Indraloka in our tranquil rural setting offers multiple opportunities to heal and educate. In fact, research indicates that spending time with animals offers myriad benefits:
- Time spent on the farm with animals, can provide therapeutic benefit for people with mental illness.
- Children who struggle with reading and math have been found to learn more readily and remember more clearly if they are around animals while learning.
- Petting animals increases the release of feel-good hormones in animals and humans.
- Communing with animals lowers blood pressure and improves your overall health.
- People often feel more comfortable being themselves around animals.
- Recipients of the Meals on Wheels program who ate near companion animals improved their eating patterns.
- Observing animals in nature can teach valuable characteristics like patience, and help restore mental energy.
- Taking care of an animal can also teach responsibility, and stimulate feelings of trust, openness, and companionship.
While the benefits of spending time with animals abound, opportunities to do so are scarce. We are poised to meet this need with your help.