Members of the Delegation with the Youth Futures Extended Family
February 26, 2008 / 20 Adar 5768
Visiting Sderot was a top priority for Jane Sherman and 20 other members of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors. Ms. Sherman, Co-Chair of the Israel Committee and a member of the board since 1983, organized the trip as she believed it was necessary for her committee to view first hand the Jewish Agency projects in the area, to listen to the residents of Sderot, and most importantly, “to come and give support to the people of the city.”
The support the delegation showed was more than they first imagined. During their visit, while listening to Mali explain that without Youth Futures she would not be unable to cope, the warning siren sounded informing Sderot residents that a Kassam had been fired in their direction.
After one of the three Kassam attacks that occurred during their visit, Larry Joseph engages Youth Futures participants by comparing cellphones.
Delegates and children were rushed into a safe room. A few short seconds later came the loud explosion of a Kassam rocket falling close to the hall. The trustees immediately began contacting their children and discovered that Yossi Haimov, a Youth Futures participant had been seriously injured.
The news effected all who were present, yet they were determined to enjoy this special event and attempt to maintain a sense of normalcy. Members of the delegation worked with the children to prepare mishloach manot for Purim and write get well cards to Osher Tuito, a resident of Sderot who lost his leg a few weeks ago in a Kassam attack. Twice more, the activities were stopped as the siren went off and everyone was evacuated to the safe room.
In Sderot as well as in 27 other locations throughout Israel, Youth Futures provides a venue for children and youth to participate in activities that will help them develop in the same way that children from more affluent families do in Israel and around the world. Each child and youth, in coordination with a young educational trustee, chooses a skill to learn or expand upon based on personal strengths and interests. The Sderot chapter services 180 children.
A number of the trustees described the reality of Sderot and told stories of courageous idealism and of their experiences as big brothers looking out for the children with whom they are entrusted.
Jane Sherman with a participant of Youth Futures in Sderot
It was clear that this visit raised the spirits of both the children and their trustees, who were happy to experience such a strong show of support. The delegates were obviously very touched by the courage and strength of the residents of Sderot and in particular of the trustees and children of Youth Futures.
YOUTH FUTURES is the first all encompassing strategy, based on a breakthrough partnership model, that targets youth at risk. Combining all available resources, YOUTH FUTURES is ensuring that every child at risk has personalized educational opportunities to fill critical gaps and put them on a level playing field. Donate now.
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