JDC is continuing to address the needs of Israel's vulnerable at-risk children, youth, young adults and families, the region's elderly and those with disabilities.
Efforts and activities that have taken place over the last few days:
- Last Thursday, 20 employees and their children (43) of the five Rayan employment centers in the south, took part in a respite at the newly opened Rahat Arcade. The participants had lunch and enjoyed the many attractions available at the arcade, see photos attached.
- The Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services has approved for JDC to increase the number of Community Caseworkers from 80 to 85, in order to expand the services to the Bedouin communities of Lakiya and Tel Sheva and additionally place one caseworker in Hof Ashkelon.
- In line with JDC's immediate post-trauma responses, resilience workshops are offered to elderly and staff working with the elderly. These include workshops for elderly and for staff at day centers and associations and for staff at old age homes and nursing facilities.
- Already running for over a year, "Vatikim B'reshet" (Elderly Online), connects older people who cannot leave their homes easily, to other elderly people, with social activities and opportunities. Led by a certified facilitator, weekly meetings are held online (video conferencing). Generally (non-emergency times), JDC operates courses of 4-8 weeks each, with topics of the meetings ranging from current events to intergenerational communication. On average, 10 people join for each meeting.
Since the outbreak of Operation Protective Edge, JDC recognized the need for immediate and ongoing meetings (no need to sign up in advance). During the current conflict, daily meetings are being held online. Elderly Online provides internet-based support for elderly with lectures, workshops, etc. giving them the possibility to connect with peers and develop skills via the web without having to leave the safety of their own home. See a short clip of the Elderly Online, http://youtu.be/8kR_DbGuSOI
One of the participants, Yossi Lotati, says I am here all alone. The phone doesn't even ring. During sirens I go to the building's stair well - that is all there is. Thanks to Elderly Online I am still at home but I am with people.
Program director Anat Shuster checks in on Yossi asking him how he is doing with all the sirens in Ashdod. She says about the program: Everybody sees each other and hears each other - exactly like a real meeting, the only difference is that the participants are connecting with people from the comfort of their own homes.
Through JFNA emergency support, JDC provided large games and equipment to approximately 20 safe spaces and shelters in the South such as air hockey, billiards and table tennis. Provided to mainly municipal and regional council facilities, young activists through the local Centers for Young Adults helped to set up the activities and games for the communities. See below for pictures of children and youth using the equipment.