Smile ther­apy for chil­dren with can­cer

Help­ing se­ri­ously-ill Is­raeli chil­dren (sec­u­lar and re­li­gious, Jew and Arab), their par­ents and sib­lings

The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Zichron Menachem -

MOST PEO­PLE’S lives stretch into the dis­tance. Most chil­dren can ex­pect to grow up healthy and happy. But sadly that does not al­ways hold true for the chil­dren of Zichron Me­nachem.

Zichron Me­nachem helps all Is­raeli chil­dren with can­cer, sec­u­lar and re­li­gious, Jew and Arab, as well as sup­port­ing their par­ents and sib­lings.

A con­sci­en­tious team of young, trained vol­un­teers gives th­ese threat­ened chil­dren new pur­pose and en­ergy, to make each day count. They keep the chil­dren en­ter­tained, ei­ther in the pur­pose­built day cen­tre in Jerusalem or in hospi­tal or at home.

The day cen­tre is abuzz with so­cial, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tive and ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties, not only for the sick chil­dren but also for their fam­i­lies.

There are birth­day par­ties, the chagim are cel­e­brated and there are quiet cor­ners where the chil­dren can rest or the par­ents re­ceive sup­port and help one an­other.

For a few days, our other kids had two full-time par­ents

Reg­u­lar mu­sic lessons, sports events and art ac­tiv­i­ties all help the chil­dren to cope with their ill­ness. Then there are the day trips to ad­ven­ture cen­tres, the desert, po­lice and army train­ing bases and other ex­cit­ing venues.

The Bri­tish Friends of Zichron Me­nachem hosts and or­gan­ises a sum­mer camp ev­ery two years. Is­raeli vol­un­teers, in­clud­ing doc­tors, nurses and an on­col­ogy spe­cial­ist, tech­ni­cal staff and youth lead­ers all see to the chil­dren’s ev­ery need: so­cial, emo­tional and med­i­cal. This year, they will be wel­com­ing 130 campers as well as some lo­cal sick chil­dren.

How­ever, it is not just the sick chil­dren who ben­e­fit when they are away. One par­ent said: “Our other chil­dren got two nor­mal full-time par­ents back for a few days. We got to spend a night in our own beds.”

The ded­i­cated band of Bri­tish vol­un­teers works tire­lessly be­hind the scenes to en­sure a great and heal­ing time for all.

To date, the par­ents have en­joyed two re­spite trips in the UK, giv­ing them time to recharge their bat­ter­ies.

The UK vol­un­teers as­sist with other fund-rais­ing projects for the char­ity too, such as run­ning a Hair Care cam­paign, bakeathons, marathons, fairs and fun runs.

All of the vol­un­teers work with­out fuss to bring a smile to a sick child’s face.

ZM helpers en­ter­tain young­sters in hospi­tal, at home or on sum­mer camp

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.