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Family Week: Healing children through ‘Harmony IN Horses’

Harmony in Horses looks to help those with childhood trauma

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Harmony IN Horses is a nonprofit dedicated to healing children who have been traumatized through neglect or abuse in the foster care system.

(Provided Photo/Harmony IN Horses)

Executive Director Lisa Condes founded Harmony IN Horses to help vulnerable youth who are disproportionately at risk of bleak and troubled futures. According to the nonprofit, 90% of the nearly half-a-million children in the foster care system will experience severe trauma; only 50% will reunite with their biological family, and 25% will attempt suicide.

Of the 23,000 young adults who age out each year: 81% of young men face incarceration; 71% of young women will become pregnant before their 21st birthday, with half of those children destined to be placed in the foster care system; 40% will be homeless within 18 months; 97% of these young adults will immediately enter into chronic poverty.

Condes says her nonprofit addresses the critical needs of children by fostering consistent and stable long-term relationships. “We have our one-on-one mentorship program. Every child is with a horse, and it’s a 10-month program. They spend one hour out at the farm every single week,” she said.

(Provided Photo/Harmony IN Horses)

On the farm, staff teach children how to communicate with their horses through body language and develop skills that will translate to home and school settings. “We’ve got young teenagers who haven’t had the ability to set boundaries, and when you’ve got a horse coming towards you and you put your hands up, and you say stop. That just empowers them like none other,” Condes said.

For more information on Harmony in Horses’ mission and how you can help, ‘click here.