Ezer Mizion’s Wildlife Pavilion, at Oranit’s Donald Berman Rehabilitation Center, is an innovative project that introduces Animal Facilitated Therapy (AFT) to the treatment agenda of children with cancer. The pavilion is designed to help the children rise above pain and fear by caring for other living things. Children with cancer receive constant care and attention from their families and doctors; the knowledge that they, too, can care for living things boosts their self-esteem and increases their will to recover.
At the Wildlife Pavilion, sick children observe and track the animals’ behavior, participate in enrichment courses on the lifestyles and behavior patterns of the various species, and benefit from individual therapy sessions. Playing with the animals is relaxing and enjoyable. It improves the children’s mood, raises their morale, and motivates them to recover.
Modern technology brings the Wildlife Pavilion to children in the hospital as well. The Wildlife Pavilion’s videoconferencing system links it with children undergoing in-patient treatment at Schneider Children’s Hospital, giving them the opportunity to observe their favorite animals and participate in enrichment sessions given by the AFT specialists.