Come into the warm

Vis­it­ing Is­rael? WIZO would love to show you projects such as its safe-home pro­gramme for teenage girls

The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Wizo -

WITH 800 projects across Is­rael, you are never far away from one of WIZO’s cen­tres. One of the great­est chal­lenges un­der­taken by WIZO in Is­rael is iden­ti­fy­ing young girls at risk, ad­dress­ing their needs and giv­ing them the so­cial and ed­u­ca­tional tools to suc­ceed. A WIZO “Warm Home” pro­vides an out-ofhome­frame­work­forado­les­cent girls who are at risk or in dis­tress and in a pro­longed down­ward spi­ral. This com­mu­nal pro­gramme al­lows young girls to stay in their nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment while re­ceiv­ing ther­apy and close guid­ance on self-es­teem and re­la­tion­ships.

WIZO runs 18 homes across Is­rael, each with up to 15 girls, many of whom have been ex­pelled from, or sim­ply left the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. The goal of this pro­gramme is to sup­port girls and en­sure that they do not end up liv­ing on the streets or be­com­ing in­volved in delin­quent be­hav­iour.

The girls at­tend the Warm Homes pro­gramme sev­eral times a week for hot meals, ther­apy, edu- cational and so­cial as­sis­tance.

Sharona, 17 ar­rived at a Warm Home four years ago. Hav­ing been ex­posed to cru­elty from her fa­ther she also ex­hib­ited ex­treme vi­o­lence her­self and hos­til­ity to­wards her peers. Warm Home staff worked with her three times a week while she con­tin­ued to at­tend school.

Af­ter two years, her out­bursts re­duced and she learned to seek help when needed. To­day, she is able to cope with her emo­tions. With the sup­port of the Warm Home staff, she trans­ferred to the Navy School, where she is now flour­ish­ing aca­dem­i­cally and so­cially. This young girl, who once suf­fered from sig­nif­i­cant so­cial pho­bias, per­formed at the school’s Me­mo­rial Day cer­e­mony. Thanks to the Warm Home, Sharona has changed into a balanced, so­cia­ble young woman with a great aca­demic fu­ture. The Warm Home is still part of her ev­ery­day life and has been the driv­ing force for her im­proved fu­ture. WIZO be­lieves that a key chal­lenge is to con­tinue giv­ing equal op­por­tu­ni­ties to young girls like Sharona. Their success will ad­vance equal­ity in Is­raeli so­ci­ety.

Firm friends at a WIZO Warm Home

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