“Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world.”
- Josephine Demott Robinson Author
It is the aim of Tom Ro Haven, to build on the local interest in and predilection for horses and in this way to do something positive about the children living in poverty.
There is a great deal of poverty in the Western Cape. If you were to drive through the different areas, down the back lanes and alleys and around the farmer’s fields, you would see some of the hundreds of children trapped to some extent or other in the poverty that surrounds them. At almost any time of the day or evening you will see groups of children wandering through the informal settlements and through the rural parts, bored and looking for something to do. That something often means trouble.
Another thing you will notice in driving around are the numbers of horses and ponies owned by the community – they can be seen tethered on the grassy verges, in backyards and on almost any small piece of ground in the townships. Some of the luckier children can be seen from time to time on horseback out in the farmer’s fields, usually going at full gallop.
It is the aim of Tom Ro Haven is to build on the local interest in and predilection for horses and in this way to do something positive about the children living in poverty.
We teach the local children to ride (or, for the many who can already gallop around on horseback, to ride in a more structured way), we will teach them how to look after horses, how to look after and repair saddles, bridles and halters, how to do groundwork with horses (i.e. work your horse while you are on foot), the importance of cleanliness in and around the stable area and the proper feeding of horses. They learn what farriers do and also what vets do. We also address some of the issues relating to the care of dogs and cats and other animals so that they can understand these issues as well.
We plan to develop a team of riders that can enter the various shows and gymkhanas that take place in and around Cape Town.
Philippi is a major center for the horse-racing industry with the Gold Circle training facilities as well as independent training yards housing between them many hundreds of horses. The skills the children learn with us will stand them in good stead if they wish to later seek employment in the racing industry or in private livery yards.
Our aim, in addition to giving the kids an alternative, healthy way to expend their energy, is to show them that there is an attainable life beyond the squatter camps, the farm cottages or the back streets of poor, run-down townships and to encourage them to think positively about their futures.
In addition to the above we provide a facility where groups of children can be brought to our farm to have an outing with the horses. We teach them not only about the horses but about the importance of community services and the direct impact thereof.
~ Rescue abused, neglected and unwanted horses.
~ Rehabilitation and schooling of horses.
~ Offer non profit livery facilities, half, quarter, full and home leases to people.
~ Use horses to offer Equine Assisted Therapy to those in need as an alternative to medical therapy and an addition to conventional therapy.
~ To teach underprivileged children a skill involving the care of horses, learning to ride and to compete as well.
~ To teach general animal care and empathy so that they may take these values and principles back to their communities and implement them there, and influence and educate by example other members of their communities.
~ To provide a safe haven for disturbed, abused and neglected children and young people, by giving them a safe environment to work through their problems and issues.
~ To visit and educate the general community in general animal care and give them practical assistance and help as well as monitoring their progress.
~ To provide corporate team building exercises to various corporates in order to identify concerns, promote confidence and motivate the teams to work to their full capabilities. This will also promote team work and discover new problem solving solutions as well as leadership and planning skills, building trust and teaching better communication skills.
~ To provide therapeutic treatment for patients suffering from Post traumatic Stress Syndrome, depression, substance addictions and sexual and physical abused.
~ To provide lessons in equestrian sports from beginner to advanced levels in showjumping, dressage, showing and eventing.
The Tom-Ro Haven is a charity registered with the Department of Social Development as a non-profit organisation – link to NPO certificate - (NPO).
The Haven has a constitution (approved by the Department of Social Development) and is run by a management committee that has been elected by its members. The Haven has an administrator (honorary) but no paid staff at this time.
The beneficiaries of our programs are and will continue to be overwhelmingly black (i.e. using the wider definition of black, coloured and Indian) and thus your organization will be able to claim B-BBEE points under the Socio-Economic Development category if you wish to. We can arrange for an inspection by an Independent Competent Person to verify this.
Our current committee comprises of ten members from all walks of life, age groups and industries all with one common goal and commitment to the haven and it’s requirements to ensure the rescue, rehabilitation and care of our rescues. Each member plays a vital role ensuring various tasks are completed in all areas of the organisation and it’s responsibilities. Meet our team.
How you can participate.
Choose a project
Tom Ro Haven for Equines & Children is completely self funding with no financial assistance from the South African Government. We rely solely on the donations of individuals, businesses and corporate entities to assist us in lightening the financial load that comes with running an organisation of this nature.
With our current rescues and programmes we have reached our maximum capacity and are currently turning horses and ponies away as we simply cannot take anymore in until we have enough financial assistance to do so.
We have a number of ways that you can assist us in contributing to our programmes, rescues, rehabilitation and campaigns - please view our "Help Us" tab and donation information to donate now.
Reach out to us
We love visitors and admire our volunteers for all their hard work and efforts, the work we do would not be possible without the help of some very special individuals.
The haven has scheduled days where a individual, group or school may volunteer.
We also hosts open days every Sunday, where you can come down and meet the haven family and decide which days you would like to volunteer and assist, for more information to find out how to become a volunteer you can contact us
Make a pledge
Busy individuals, families, corporate entities and our followers abroad are encouraged to help us on a monthly basis by becoming one of our wonderful "Haven Helpers". This facility affords the opportunity to financially assist us in our ongoing programmes and rescues instead of volunteering or providing once off donations.