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Cody the Brave - The next chapter!

Cody the Brave - The next chapter!

Personal message

The Eden Empathy Initiative, a newly registered non-profit company, is based at Essendale Farm, Knysna - known as the home of Cody the Brave. 

Cody, a 10 year old pony, made international news in June last year, when he found his way home 16 days after the devastating Knysna fires.  He was emaciated and badly burnt, and had been without food or water for two weeks.  His digestive system had shut down, and the injuries to his eyes meant that he could hardly see.  Cody appeared to be blind and without hope. 

And yet, his determination to get home saw him trying to cross the busy N2 national road, just 100m from the farm where he had been born.  

Against what seemed insurmountable odds, and thanks to the help and support of many friends and strangers too, Cody has made a miraculous recovery (his vision included).  He has proven to the world that ANYONE has the capacity to heal from their trauma, no matter how severe, provided they are brave enough to find the help they need. 

Despite his scars, he is living a full life as a happy pony - a fine example to us all.  His story of bravery, inspiration and hope has touched the hearts of thousands of people throughout the world.

But, his story is far from over... 

As the animal ambassador for The Eden Empathy Initiative, a brand new chapter is about to unfold as Cody and his friends embark on a project aimed at achieving "the impossible":  Helping children and animals in disadvantaged communities, while breaking cycles of violence and abuse.

Cody and his friends will be working with young children, teaching them about wild and domestic animals in novel ways.  They will also be helping them develop authentic leadership skills, while removing the emotional "blocks" to feeling empathy, through proven, animal-assisted clinical therapy.

The importance of Empathy

To have empathy is not a choice - it is an ability - and one that is easily lost when we shut down certain emotions that have become too painful to bear.  This inability to feel or care is how the abused often goes on to become the abuser (of humans and animals), and this is exactly what The Eden Empathy Initiative aims to prevent, through early intervention.

The programme is about to enter its development phase, where the team will be working with their first groups of children - all in a controlled environment that allows for the valuable, honest feedback of carers.  This phase will provide the opportunity to assess and further develop the planned programme activities for the specific social and cultural context of the local community. 

The next phase will entail working with the local department of education to ensure maximum impact of the programme in local primary schools.   

We need your help to get started

The R85,000.00 start-up budget includes:

The first 50 sessions of equine therapy conducted by a qualified equine assisted psychotherapy team, 6 wildlife education sessions with wildlife professionals, clinical research set-up, equipment purchases, a professional website and various other marketing and business start-up tools and services to ensure a firm foundation for the sustainability of The Eden Empathy Initiative and its work.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!  If you share in The Eden Empathy Initiative's vision, we ask that you share this campaign far and wide to reach those who are in a position to offer financial assistance.

Together, we can create kinder, more caring communities. 

Please Help Us Spread The Word: Share This Post

Thank you!

Karen & Cody

Essendale Farm



  • Oct 29, 2018 - R 103.00
  • "Thank you for sharing Cody's journey and making it mean something, particularly for the animals in disadvantaged areas. THANK YOU!" - Michelle Preiss

  • Oct 26, 2018 - R 308.46
  • "Payment for KGG banner" - Eva Micklewood

  • Oct 01, 2018 - R 103.00
  • "Thank you for sharing Cody's journey and making it mean something, particularly for the animals in disadvantaged areas. THANK YOU!" - Michelle Preiss

  • Sep 21, 2018 - R 510.00
  • "For the future" - Sharon Jansen

  • Sep 21, 2018 - R 1 028.20
  • "With LOVE" - Hillary

  • Sep 20, 2018 - R 514.10
  • "Sounds like a wonderful initiative. I wish you luck" - Brigid Ryan

  • Sep 19, 2018 - R 1 028.20
  • "With all our love at Fine and Country Knysna" - Eva Micklewood

  • Sep 19, 2018 - R 500.00
  • "Something to get started. XXX" - Vivienne

  • Sep 19, 2018 - R 102.82
  • "Thank you for sharing Cody's journey and making it mean something, particularly for the animals in disadvantaged areas. THANK YOU!" - Michelle Preiss

Donate to this charity


Donations to date

R 4 197.78

Fundraising target

R 85 000.00

The Eden Empathy Initiative (NPC)

The Eden Empathy Initiative (NPC) Logo

The Eden Empathy Initiative (NPC) combines an exciting new mix of animal-related education, skills training, activities and therapy.  Our focus is on pre-teen children living in disadvantaged communities.

Our Mission

To create kinder, safer communities, by unlocking and developing empathy and authentic leadership skills in children as a critical means to disrupting cycles of violence and abuse.