St Mary’s College has partnered with Yawardani -Janga Helping Horses Program to provide opportunities for primary and secondary students.
Yawardani Jan-ga or the ‘Helping Horses’ program based in Broome is an innovative Equine Assisted Learning program that was previously piloted in the mid-west region of Western Australia. Led by Professor Juli Coffin, head of Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Aboriginal Young People at the Telethon Kids Institute, the program has taken years of research to try and fill a gap by providing an evidence-based approach to the long-term healing of young Aboriginal people.
Using the innate healing power of horses, Yawardani Jan-ga helps young Aboriginal people to build awareness and become more confident. The program relies on the wisdom of these magnificent animals who support people with their calming and accepting nature by providing non-verbal insights by mirroring participants vibrations and behaviours.
The horses utilised throughout the program have helped kids and youth in the Kimberley region to develop valuable insights and life skills and manage obstacles in a non-judgemental, safe and exciting environment that is naturally appealing to young people. From the training that is carried out to the program itself, Yawardani Jan-ga revolves around coordinated care, ensuring a ‘wrap-around’ style service is offered. It supports positive relationship building through awareness, positive self-thought and self-regulation – all things that Equine Assisted Learning can teach.