RAEL and Sandy’s Eden join forces
WORCESTER – The RAEL addiction recovery farm outside the town recently embarked on a new initiative involving the non-profit animal rescue organisation Sandy’s Eden.
These organisations joined forces on a new project for recovering addicts, who work with rehabilitated animals, fostering and learning to work with them.
It was launched with an announcement by Breede Valley Mayor Antoinette Steyn, who visited the animal shelter during her mini-tour of the area to support local businesses and organisations.
Recovering addicts will, as part of their three-phase rehabilitation, take care and nurture these animals.
“About a year ago I had an issue with my dog, and rang Sandy’s Eden to assist,” Director and owner of RAEL, Anthony Hall told Standard. “Juenieta Everson and her team didn’t hesitate to help me, and I quickly learnt about the amazing work the shelter does. We then decided to put our heads together and hence, this project was born. We are excited about embarking on this journey together.”
He also explained the three-phase addict recovery process and its functionality. “Phase 1 is devoted to taking care of a plant, phase 2 taking care of a dog or any other animal, and phase 3 a partner or a loved one.
Addicts often feel left out and unloved by society. This gap can now be filled with the love of a pet. The quality of care is important in recovery, which is learnt through the relationship built with the pet and its grooming.”
Like Hall, Everson is also excited about embarking on what they have described as “a world first”, assigning animals to recovering addicts on the farm and organising classes and workshops to teach them to take appropriate care of them.
“Animal rescue organisations often stagnate and fail to think outside of the box,” she said. “What is the difference between an abused animal in rescue and a human in rehab? Nothing. They both need rehabilitation, compassion and love. We now have three dogs assigned to people in the rehabilitation programme, and they have truly changed over these last few weeks. They went from nothing to something in a matter of days.”
Everson said Sandy’s Eden was on the brink of closure because it had failed to secure sufficient support. “We are now thankful to be operating in such conditions, knowing we are making a difference. We are also thankful for Sias van Tonder of Lifestyle Technology Solutions for his aid in assisting in the training.”
Both RAEL and Sandy’s Eden hope to take this venture to new heights and inspire others to also take the initiative to enhance animals and people in need.