At our Rotary Club we were visited by Winston from Sali’s Farm. Sali is a non profit society started in 2008. They became a registered charity in 2009, with a volunteer board of directors. The purpose of Sali’s is to connect children who have experienced violence with nature and animals.
In 2011 Sali was offered the use of a farm in northern Langley. Children aged 3-12 who’s mothers were fleeing violence were given a chance to help look after rescued animals who needed care and nurturing. The kinds could make a connection with the animals and see them recover and return to health.
Many of the kids have never been close to farm animals, being raised in an urban environment. Sali has volunteers that work with the kids on a one to one ratio. The program runs for 8 weeks, with the kids working with animals the first 4 weeks then working on a project such as gardening the second half of the program. The kids are provided with boots and coats so they can interact with the animals.
Sali has rented a farm in South Surry, which is easier access for most of their volunteers. They are raising funds for the eventual purchase of a permanent location. The plan to increase service levels to help more kids, which requires additional volunteers. All volunteers are required to undergo a criminal record check prior to joining.