Louisville Zoo partners with Future Healers focusing on teaching kids empathy

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 4:29 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Zoo announced their recent partnership with Future Healers program on Tuesday.

The “Future Healers Got Zoo Buddies” program is part of Christopher 2X’s Game Changers, a non-profit organization that works to support victims of gun violence.

The partnership between the Future Healers and the Louisville Zoo was created to explore the healing and therapeutic power of animals with young kids, and aims to teach children to have empathy for one another.

“The umbrella concept is that we have one mind, one body, one life and one planet,” the press release said.

“Partnerships like this ‘Future Healers Got Zoo Buddies’ and the Future Healers partnership with UofL Health are so very important,” non-violence advocate Christopher 2X said. “The healing value to our children and their parents is paramount. Spending time learning about the animal kingdom and our role in planetary health through the lens of empathy will be a balm for these kids who suffer from secondary trauma and help to alleviate some of the challenges these kids face every day. What we envision is for these kids to become humanitarian advocates.”

The Future Healers program specifically focuses on children in the community who have experienced secondary trauma from violence.

“The Zoo leg of Future Healers takes the kids out of their everyday lives and puts them into a relaxing and natural environment, allowing them to forget their challenges for a few moments and to connect with nature. Our program takes a little bit of a different approach by addressing personal health, safety, and wellbeing but the programs are beautifully complementary,” Dr. Keith Miller, Trauma Surgeon at UofL Health said. “We both share the same overriding goal — helping these kids to be healthy.”

Seventeen of the 50 Future Healers were handpicked by Christopher 2X to be a part of the “Future Healers Got Zoo Buddies” program, according to the press release, who will have the opportunity to go to the Zoo for exclusive educational programs, camps, and more.

All 50 Future Healer members will make a visit to the Louisville Zoo.

“Christopher 2X is building upon the great beginnings of his Future Healers program with an important and unique second step,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “Partnering with the Louisville Zoo, some of the Future Healers of varying ages will learn about building relationships with animals and their habitats, forming connections in an experience also designed to foster empathy and self-esteem.”

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