The first to suffer the effects of the economic hardships confronting nearly half a million families in Israel are children. The lack of hot, nourishing food, endless hours spent alone while parents work late, neglect, and even physical abuse – a manifestation of parental pain and frustration – combine to paint a dismal picture. The results are immediately apparent: the children are restless, irritable, and aggressive. A proper education is their only hope to break out of the cycle of poverty and build successful adult lives, yet almost inevitably, schoolwork quickly falls by the wayside
All too often, in the absence of a proper framework or direction, the road to deterioration of every kind (violence, crime, abuse, injury, etc.) is a short and inevitable one. Additionally, every instance of regression in the areas described above brings in its wake wider academic gaps, further lowering children’s chances of extricating themselves from their state of crisis, and thereby designating them as likely candidates for future failures.
To keep these children within the mainstream of Israeli society, protecting them from the harmful effects of problems at home while providing a relaxed, supportive environment with professional guidance, Meir Panim operates a network of after-school clubs for disadvantaged students which acts as a respite from the challenges in their lives.
Elementary school students attend Meir Panim’s after-school youth clubs in various cities across the country four to five times a week. Professional teachers work individually with each child, assisting the child with homework and other study projects and helping him/her to prepare properly for tests. Afterwards, the children enjoy enrichment projects with an attractive variety of games and group activities. Before they leave for their homes, a light nourishing meal is served, to supply their critical dietary needs.
Meir Panim’s youth clubs operate in conjunction with the local municipal school systems and social services and other organizations to provide the maximum amount of effective educational assistance. They have the professional supervision of the Ministry of Welfare, which refers children to the clubs, provides guidance for the counselors, and monitors the progress of the programs.
A personal program is designed for each child in coordination with his/her educational institution. In addition, the children receive a comprehensive computer course to help reduce the digital gap, as well as other enrichment classes. The club operates during vacation days, as well (Chanukah and Pesach), and educational programming is held also during the summer vacation, which combines preparation for the coming school year with various recreational activities.
Be a part of this important program and give disadvataged Isaeli children the greatest gift: A FUTURE!
View Sponsorship Opportunities for Israeli Children-at-Risk