One of IAHAIO’s strategic aims is to support emerging needs for knowledge on HAI and AAI in countries/regions across the globe where HAI and AAI are developing or are under-developed.

Through collaboration with our members, IAHAIO is currently working with organizations to harness enthusiasm and dedication to establishing AAI programmes. There are different ways in which we extend our support, from tapping into our excellent network of contacts, to teaching courses, working to apply the IAHAIO best practice advice (White Papers, position statements etc), sharing materials, speaking at or co-hosting education and training events and conferences, to providing travel scholarships to enable individuals from these organizations to attend conferences and gain valuable experience and knowledge.

IAHAIO has also established a new category for membership “Provisional membership” aimed at organizations that are in the process of establishing one or more HAI or AAI-related activities that recognize the role of HAI in health and well-being and who support our goals.

Our work in Turkey

IAHAIO became involved in the development of animal-assisted interventions in Turkey in 2016. Our president, Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers, was asked to present a keynote at a congress on autism, where she and some of her Phd students gave a series of lectures about animal-assisted interventions such as dog-assisted and equine-assisted therapy for children with autism.

This was a brand new topic and unknown in Turkey. In the Center for Children with Autism in Konya, where the Congress was held ,the professionals (neurologists, physiotherapists, teachers, psychologists etc.) were very enthusiastic and from this event a relationship with the initiator of these activities, Mr. Yavuz Kutuk developed.

Since then Mr. Yavuz Kutuk has attended all IAHAIO events and IAHAIO has helped him as much as possible in setting up an educational pathway for AAI in Turkey with the help of an IAHAIO member organization (Institute for Anthrozoology in the Netherlands). Excellent foundations have been laid and many courses in equine-assisted interventions have been given for handlers and professionals in Health Care (Ankara, Eskisehir). The courses were very successful and were supported by the Ministry of Health and in close cooperation with universities and academic hospitals. The IAHAIO White Paper has been translated to Turkish.

Impressively, this year (2020)  the Center for Education, Animal Assisted Interventions & Green Care (CAC)  was founded, and will be officially opened with an international conference in Turkey (28-30 August 2020) where experts from IAHAIO member organizations will present their work and practices, and the ‘new’ Turkish equine-assisted therapists will share their first experiences. We are delighted that the CAC is preparing to submit a provisional membership application to IAHAIO.

Collaboration with IAHAIO members to promote quality standards

Eastern Europe

Dr. Christine Olsen and Line Sandstedt, from the International Centre of Anthrozoology (IAHAIO member), were asked by IAHAIO to assist an Eastern European member organization who asked for help in developing training for AAI dog trainers and quality standards for their program. This was very successful.

IAHAIO also works to share expertise and experience between our member organizations. One of our provisional member organizations, Valence, a young organization in the Ukraine, is in the early stages of development and IS looking to create a dog training programme to help people with special needs, including ex servicemen, suffering from PTSD.  IAHAIO has linked them with another of our organizations, KNGF, who will be offering a training course to members of Valence in this specialist area.