Anna Derkach is an expert in social work in Ukraine. She is also the founder of the Hippotherapy and Development Centre in Cherkasy, which received support
Anna Derkach is an expert in social work in Ukraine. She is also the founder of the Hippotherapy and Development Centre in Cherkasy, which received support from an EU4Youth project that focuses on unlocking the potential of young social enterprises in Moldova and Ukraine.
Hippotherapy, one of the newest and most promising healthcare developments, is based on the use of the horse for the renewal of human bodily functions. Anna discovered it as part of her treatment for a physical disability caused by cerebral palsy – simply riding a horse helped her improve both her physical and mental health. Hippotherapy is especially useful in traumatic situations, such as those produced by war.
Anna explained the peculiarities of doing business during the conflict, the things that have helped her on her journey, and how to create a genuinely profitable social business.
How the project became a reality
Anna’s house was built specifically for families with disabled children. It has about 50 disabled people living there and is attached to a 2.6-hectare plot of land. One day, Anna was approached by a woman who had horses but didn’t have enough money to keep them. Anna realised that her land was perfect for a hippotherapy playground to improve children’s health. It was this eureka moment that got the ball rolling.