IT was an afternoon of good, clean fun today at the Horses Helping Humans (HHH) Rainbow Family Fair at Carousel Park, MovieTowne, Port of Spain.
Children and adults enjoyed a variety of activities such as the carousel park rides, bouncy castle, face painting, kids yoga, a puppet show, and a magic show. Attendees were also allowed to pet the animals including an owl and snakes at the El Socorro Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre’s interactive wildlife display, dogs from the Pug Association of TT, and a pony from HHH.
Karen Stollmeyer, president and co-founder of HHH said part of the organisation’s focus was therapeutic horseback riding, or hippotherapy, for children with autism and other special needs. It was also a full-service stable for anyone who wished to ride.
She said the fair, hosted in conjunction with Republic Bank's Power to Make a Difference programme and MovieTowne, was the HHH’s forth annual fundraiser of its kind. “It is an event geared to bringing together children of all abilities, so we reach out to children with special needs as well as those without. It’s a fully integrated event where everyone can come out and have a great time.”
One mother from Penal said it was the second year she brought her two children to the event because it was something different for them to do. Reginald Maynard from Macoya said he brought his children because they loved animals and it allowed them to see and pet animals they would not have access to outside of the zoo. And seven-year-old Christy Bissoon agreed saying she was more excited to pet the pony than get on the rides.
Rina Naipaul, sponsorship and event execution officer at Republic Bank, said it was involved with the fair because the bank was invested in improving the lives of people with autism. “Republic Bank has partnered with the Autistic Society of TT for many years. Autism is a cause we are very much involved in and Horses Helping Humans help persons with autism through their hippotherapy. This is one event we can lend support so they can provide their services to the kids who need it.”
She added that the fair was also a way to generate awareness for hippotherapy, allowing people to know some of the options available to help their children.