In the past week we took a group of children from the Spandau refugee shelter to Pony Farm Kladow. The staff at this wonderful pony farm has already declared itself prepared to take the kids riding.
Full of anticipation, we arrived to the refugee shelter in the morning, but there were yet no children joining us. We, the four volunteers, were standing there helpless. We were so excited for the trip, and then no child wanted to come. However, Melisa, a girl from Bosnia, came like a true whirlwind. Melisa was the key to the rest of the children. We asked her to go to the room once more and convince the other children to join us. In the end, Melisa and Natascha got seven more children interested, and we all caught the bus to Kladow.
On the way there, we had the opportunity to get to know each other. We noticed quickly that some of the children were very open while others – very shy. Additionally, some didn’t understand and speak German very well and communication was not easy. But thankfully, the children that spoke good German were very helpful and had the patience to translate for us.
As soon as we arrived the pony farm and saw the ponies, the kids’ faces lit up. The children truly blossomed and the tension went away. We stepped on the terrain and petted donkeys, dogs and ponies. Small refreshments and homemade muffins were also ready for us. Then, the children were allowed to take the ponies for a ride, groomed, saddled and braided their hair. The excitement was increasing every minute and it was wonderful to look at so many bright faces. That made us unbelievably happy. As the children got on the ponies and headed to the forest, they couldn’t contain their joy and in the end, wanted to take the ponies home. Back to the farm, the kids made the stable ready. In the end, there was also a community lunch and then the children took their happiness home – the shelter where everyone could share their experiences.
It was a great day for us too, and we hope that the parents and other children from the refugee shelter can feel this happiness and joy. Next time, maybe more children will come when they hear about an outing with VISIONEERS!