The fire is out and approximately 40% of the buildings at Yemin Orde have been damaged or destroyed and many people have lost everything. Everyone is safe and accounted for. Staff is in touch with children and graduates around the country. Crisis counseling is in place for kids experiencing trauma and abandonment issues and for staff who lost their homes. Administration is working with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Education to relocate the entire Yemin Orde community to one location, with a goal of having everyone together beginning next Sunday, December 12th. We can't yet put an exact figure on the needs to repair and rebuild both the physical and emotional damage of such a devastating event.
Our needs are urgent and immediate. It's too soon to know exact numbers but our estimates count in the millions of dollars and insurance will cover only a fraction of the expense.
The care and education of disadvantaged immigrant children must continue uninterrupted.
The children at Yemin Orde are ages 12 – 19 and while many of the children at the Village are orphans, some came to Israel alone, leaving behind their families in their native countries and others are from single-parent or dysfunctional families. While nothing can truly replace a healthy nuclear family, a youth village is often the best alternative for children-at-risk, and Yemin Orde has been widely acclaimed for its success. Yemin Orde graduates are leaders in every sector of Israeli society - business, government, education, social services, NGOs and the IDF, and role models for every Israeli youngster, especially immigrants and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Much of Yemin Orde's success is due to its philosophy which is based on the respect and unconditional acceptance of every child. Yemin Orde provides the children with their basic needs, psychosocial treatments as necessary (both traditional and alternative therapies), a strong academic program, Tikkun Olam volunteer work and extracurricular enrichment activities. Yemin Orde's success reflects the deeply sensitive approach of the Village to the needs of adolescent survivors of trauma and displacement. The main objective of Yemin Orde is to educate these children to the highest possible level, cultivate their self-esteem and build leadership through innovative educational and community outreach programs. The outcome is that Yemin Orde graduates become productive members of mainstream society, not the burdens on the state that their backgrounds would otherwise indicate.
Yemin Orde also seeks to achieve the following goals:
• To provide opportunities for the children to succeed in their school studies including enrichment classes, culturally sensitive teaching methods, and the use of technology;
• To help the children develop a self-identity, as well as their Jewish and Israeli-identity;
• To respect and instill confidence in a child’s cultural heritage – including teaching children within the context of their cultural boundaries, which has proven to lead to greater academic achievement;
• Graduate support - creating a sense of personal security for the future by providing a graduate home, financial and emotional support for graduates, and enabling graduates to be positive role models for children currently living at each village.
Through the unique programs and services that have been developed at the Village, Yemin Orde provides individualized care and attention, and extensive opportunities for each child to heal from childhood trauma, to progress academically and to develop a healthy identity.
The success of the Village in integrating children from diverse cultures and backgrounds, cultivating their self-esteem, and building leadership through innovative programs has attracted widespread acclaim. The Village was recognized in 1996 with the Magen Hayeled (Guardian of the Child) Award, the highest honor of its kind in Israel, and in May 2005 former Village director Dr. Chaim Peri, as one of twelve people who have made outstanding contributions to Israeli society, was invited to light the torch during the opening ceremonies of Israel’s Independence Day.
Much of Yemin Orde's success is based on the respect and unconditional acceptance of every child. Yemin Orde provides its children with their basic needs, psychosocial treatments as necessary (both traditional and alternative therapies), a strong academic program, Tikkun Olam volunteer work and extracurricular enrichment activities. Graduates from Yemin Orde include Israel’s first Ethiopian attorney, first Ethiopian architect, many military commanders, and leaders within their own communities.
Recently, a Yemin Orde graduate returned to the Village to volunteer with fellow graduates in Israel to create a graduate support network. In preparing for her task, Mazal read about the various programs at the Village. As she came across the Orthodontic Care Program, she exclaimed, “You mean this ISN’T funded by the government? I never realized how much Yemin Orde does for the kids; you really care about us!”
S' was just eight years old when she arrived at the Village, with her younger brother, seven years ago from the Former Soviet Union. Alone in Israel, S’ and her brother came to Israel directly from the orphanage in which they lived in the FSU. Upon arrival at the village, it was clear that S' would need massive dental care. Her jaws were protruding, her teeth were severely crooked, and even at her young age she was aware of her unusual appearance. S' began orthodontic treatment three years ago and she is undergoing a complicated and extensive treatment plan. She still has braces, but she is looking much better and feeling much better about herself. She is a happy and smiling young girl, studious and social. It is clear that without the orthodontic treatment, S' would be severely handicapped today, both emotionally and socially.
Your gift to Friends of Yemin Orde can positively impact the lives of more than 500 children at the Village, located in Israel’s Carmel Forest, just south of Haifa.
The Yemin Orde Village suffered major destruction because of the recent wildfire and we need major emergency funds, both to meet the children’s immediate needs and to fund reconstruction and repair. Here are examples of where your dollars will go:
Rebuild electric infrastructure
Rebuild computer infrastructure
Rebuild staff homes
Supplies for needs of homeless families (69 people, including 12 young children)
Fencing and extra security in the village during reconstruction
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