Israel’s population is recognized worldwide for its diversity. For the community of disabled people in Israel, special measures are taken to ensure they integrate and feel comfortable within our society. Here are some of the amazing programs for special needs children and adults, ensuring Israel’s most special are given equal opportunities.
Founded in 1990, Shalva is an award winning non-profit organization that cares for Israel’s disabled. Shalva runs programs for the parents and siblings of the children as well. They offer a wide range of activities, appropriate for all age groups. Membership is free of charge. Shalva works 24/7 with the purpose of providing support and help for the families, and creating an environment in which the children can thrive. Find out more information on Shalva’s website.
Ezer Mizion’s children development division offers a summer camp program for children with special needs. The program began in 1988 and was the first of its kind in Israel. Today, the program consists of 7 different summer camps, and is called B’Lev Sameach – with a happy heart. The various camps are divided into sleepaway and day camp, northern and southern Israel. The highlight of the year for many children, the camps feature exciting outdoor activities and trips to zoos and amusement parks. Read more about this wonderful initiative here.
Meet Magshimim Halom – the IDF unit that makes teens’ dreams come true. Special needs soldiers are given relatively simple yet important tasks, in the warehouse, kitchen, or offices of the army base. These same tasks were formerly carried out by non-special needs soldiers, but they were not as motivated and did not do as good a job. The project contributes immensely to the lives of young disabled people in Israel, who volunteer willingly. Check out the IDF’s blog for more on the topic.
All of these organizations, and many more, have one mission: to create a collective Israeli society that accommodates all, that sees beyond disabilities, and that can make every person’s struggle just a little bit easier.