In the past few years, TRCI has been working with National Insurance and the Lev Hasharon
Regional Council, on a unique project that trains youths for viable future employment, in the
field of horses and dogs. This project provides them with vocational training which they receive
under a blanket arrangement that includes their participating in community voluntary work. In
each cycle there are 30 boys and girls aged 15-17, from the Lev Hasharon Regional Council,
who are chosen by professionals according to the parameters established at the start of the
program, which is closely monitored by social workers and educators.
The Structure of the Program
The program works on three levels – practical, voluntary and social:
The practical level – training in the kennels or stables: during the first month they tried out
activities in the kennel and stable in order to choose the most suitable for them. They then were
given theoretic training in riding and dog training, beginning with the evolution of the animals
and through to appropriate access and solving problems. During the summer, after extended
training, the youths joined the TRCI staff working for a salary, and at the end of this process they
were examined. Those who passed were given a certificate as either a “Riding Instructor” or a
“Dog Trainer”. On the practical level the youths gained practical tools to manage their finances
and prepare them for real life.
The voluntary level – The youth’s voluntary work was participation in the activities of special
needs children of their age group, whose physical functions were reasonable (able to walk, some
with some aid) but who had communication difficulties (intellectual disabilities or autism). On
this program, a volunteer was selected to accompany each special needs youth, and they were to
accompany them during all activities in the stables or the kennel, from the moment they arrived
at TRCI and until they got onto the bus. Before and after each meeting, there were prep sessions
in which the volunteers were given information about the activities for that day, and afterward
they shared their experiences. Over time very warm relationships between the two groups were
The social level – the chosen youth came from various settlements in the region, girls and boys,
religious and secular, from different school in the jurisdiction. The purpose was, amongst
others, to generate a feeling of pride in belonging to the group. For this purpose the connection
began from the moment they first gathered on the bus, and met with the professionals who would
accompany them throughout the process. They were constantly in touch with the families. The
group not only enjoyed the course and the voluntary work, but they also participated in parties
and social activities that contributed to strengthening the relationships within the group.
To sum up –
After a long program that lasted 18 months, these young people and their families can testify to
the huge change this program has produced in their lives, and we are therefore able to crown this
year a huge success.
We would like to thank everyone who contributes and supported this important project:
National Insurance: Thanks to Mrs. Efrat Ben Horin, Director of the Foundation for Children
and Youth at Risk, at the National Insurance for the generous funding.
The Lev Hasharon Regional Council: Thanks to Mrs. Orit Bar, Director of the Dept. for Social
Welfare and Community.
Thanks to Asaf Mashiach and Sahar Dahari for leading the program with unusual caring and
Thanks to the management of TRCI and the staff of instructors who transformed the idea into