How we help



On 18th June 2018 Hot91.9FM interviewed Tumi Hlongwane on her involvement with Shumbashaba, our ever growing programmes and in particular our Saturday Development Program which she founded and the need for ongoing support

Click here to provide your support


Sometimes horses make the best doctors — Beautiful News

When she was just nine years old, Jacky du Plessis’ parents divorced. She started horse riding to get over the break, finding solace, comfort and safety in the bonds she formed with the animals. As she grew older, her love for them developed, as did her desire to create positive change. Wanting to use her passion for these animals and her knowledge of their therapeutic characteristics to make a difference, Du Plessis started working with horses as a form of therapy and rehabilitation for people with disabilities as well as victims of abuse and emotional trauma. Since 2009, she has used her work to help horses heal humans.

Having started as a volunteer, Du Plessis is now a trustee and social media manager for the NPO, Shumbashaba Horses Helping People. She discovered the programme when her own children began vaulting as a way of improving their low muscle tone, and assisted the founder, Sharon Boyce, in setting up the trust. Through the use of hippotherapy for people with disabilities, therapeutic riding, and a non-riding programme which teaches life skills and improves emotional and mental well-being, the organisation has helped over 1600 people. “I’m passionate about the power of horses and their ability to provide healing to people,” Du Plessis says. With the funds collected from private participants in the programme, Shumbashaba has been able to reach out and assist hundreds of children who cannot afford therapy.

While the use of horses as a form of therapy may seem unusual, Du Plessis has seen how successful the method can be. “Horses have been instrumental in our advancement and people forget the role that horses have played in history,” she says. Using the movement of the horses to improve coordination, neurological functioning and physical weaknesses, Shumbashaba has helped people who couldn’t walk get back on their feet. In 2015, two riders who benefitted from the programme represented South Africa at the Special Olympics World Games in 2015. “We can gain so much more when we choose to work with animals instead of against them,” Du Plessis says. Thanks to those volunteers who selflessly dedicate their time to the care of animals, we can all reap the rewards.


CGTN (China Global Television) Africa Live featured our vaulting development program :


On Saturday the 25th November Shumbashaba & Special Olympics S.A. will be hosting a Unified Sports Day in conjunction with Bona Lesedi and Diepsloot Arsenal Development Club. Four sporting codes integrating athletes with and without disabilities will be enjoyed – Bocce, equestrian, 7-a-side soccer and volleyball. Your help is needed: Click here to download more information



The BigUp program on SABC 1, which looks at young unsung heroes, features and salutes Bongani Mvumvu for all he is doing at Shumbashaba to make a difference in the lives of Diepsloot children through equestrian vaulting



Netherlands national television broadcaster, NOS TV: filmed on the 23rd June 2017 this footage of our Shumbashaba vaulters was aired on a children’s program on the 2nd August 2017:



German television: this footage that appeared on German TV on the 2nd October 2017 shows the wonderful work the Roots & Shoots program does with the 200 or so children that attend our Saturday Development Program:



The Expresso Morning Show on SABC3 has produced and aired a great story on how equestrian vaulting at Shumbashaba has gone from a community development program to a high-end competitive sport with Justice and Siphamandla, two members of the South African Junior Vaulting Team, currently overseas training for the World Junior Vaulting Championships taking place in Austria at the beginning of August.



Shumbashaba features in an advertising campaign run by First National Bank. This footage, beautifully shot, gives some insight into our ground-based equine assisted personal development program and the impact this has on the participants.




The IOC has long recognised that it has a significant advocacy role to play in the promotion of sport and physical activity at all levels around the world. Globally, 1 in 4 adults is not active enough and more than 80% of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently physically active (World Health Organization).

As a result the IOC and its Sport and Active Society Commission have designed a useful toolkit for organisations across the Olympic Movement that are managing Sport for All programmes and offered case studies, which includes the Shumbashaba Community Trust – see case49 on page 148:

Click here  for more information


Help Tumi support 200 kids in Diepsloot reach their potential


For more information Click here



FEI - A Ray of Hope

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Africa live South Africa Horse Vaulting

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Volunteers needed: Saturday's Pony Pamper Party

Dear friends of Shumbashaba, following the success of our first Pony Pamper Party held during March we have decided to host two per month (except for during the government school holidays) from 1pm – 3pm, beginning May.

                1. May – 7th & 21st

                2. June - 4th & 18th

                3. July – 23rd

                4. August – 6th & 20th

                5. September – 3rd & 17th


   The dates for the rest of the year are to be confirmed.




South African NGO using horses to help disadvantaged Children

A non-profit organization in Johannesburg is using the gentler side of horses to help change the lives of disabled children. The Shumbashaba Center helps bring healing to children with various physical and mental disabilities using horse therapy. CCTVs Yolisa Njamela has the story.

For more information Click here 



Horse Riding made me a different person 



 The BBC's Sophie Ribstein reports on the life-changing impact of horse riding on young people at a non-profit community project in Johannesburg, South Africa.Shumbashaba focuses on how horses can touch people positively, and help them to change their lives.

For more information Click here 



Themba and Maria win medals at Special Olympics World Games



 Maria Matlala and Themba Sibiya, our two equestrian athletes who have just competed at the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015, between them have brought home 3 bronze medals and 3 fourth places. They are pictured with our coach, Renae Erasmus (in green Special Olympics S.A. tracksuit), and, Marlene du Plessis, national chairperson of the S.A. National Equestrian Schools Association, the organization which contributed funds towards their coaching costs and air fares.


You can view here photos of our Champions.




To our Champion Supporters,

 Themba and Maria are two of the 7000 athletes from around the world who will compete in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, USA,  and show the world courage,determinationand joy. With your support, these two are off to live out their dreams of competing as equestrian athletes on the global stage.

If anybody is interested in seeing them and the rest of the Special Olympics South African team off at O.R. Tambo International Airport, they meet at 8am on Monday the 20th July and will be around until they check in at 9.30am to depart at 12.30pm.

If you’d like to know more about the 2015 Special Olympics World Games visit  Los Angeles 2015-Special Olympics World Games page.


 Thank you everybody for helping to make it happen.




FNB  "Loving Horses Can Help"

 FNB gave Shumbashaba a Moment of Delight for using the healing power of horses to impact the lives of special needs individuals.

You can watch here what is happening at Shumbashaba filmed as part of FNB's "You Can Help" campaign.