Horses in the Hood is a non-profit organization in Watts, south-central Los Angeles. Their mission: sending at-risk youth to horse camps, where they learn responsibility and communications skills while learning to ride and care for horses:
One way a child can develop and express their best selves is to have the opportunity to explore, create, and be challenged. For the second year in a row, the children of the Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School in Watts have such an opportunity.Horses in the Hood has provided an open passage for these inner-city students to explore some of the greatness this world has to offer. The week that the children spend at horse camp is a time for learning, for building character and learning values. Some of the values learned are: sharing, caring, respect, trust, responsibility, and family. For most of these children, this is a dream come true and an exposure that otherwise would have been impossible.
Watts is a low-income community in Southeast Los Angeles, where the majority of our students live. Within the confines of this community, there is a strong presence of drug usage and gang violence. From January 1 through mid December, 2000, 76 people were killed in Southeast Los Angeles. This included 23 victims who were 21 years old or younger.Of those, nine were too young to even vote. It is a community notorious for violence. Many of our children live with caution and sometimes fear, and have seen family members murdered or injured. Also, a large number of our children have either one or both parents that are incarcerated.
What an awesome program! Winston Churchill said “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man” and those happy faces are living proof. Also consider the long-term benefits to their community, not to mention getting the kids into a safe environment even if it’s only for a short time.
(Not to mention, I now want one of those t-shirts)