Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Helping the Unfortunates in Haifa

Here in Haifa, there are many opportunities for assisting those who are in unfortunate circumstances. We have two pet projects:-

a)    A center for children with learning difficulties http://www.haifacenter.org/en_default.asp

b)    A sheltered home for battered women

Now the two projects have converged thanks to the local Rotary who made it possible to provide a series of emotional treatments to women in one of the shelters in Haifa for battered women. In this home there are a number of women from the Arab community who have to escape the potential dangers of "honour" killing.

The center's expert therapist used art to help women discover their inner world and express hidden feelings. In some cases Dyadic Therapy (mother-child) took place. Mothers reported increased self-awareness, self-confidence, and empowerment preparing them for life outside of the shelter. To quote the therapist: “This was the first time I worked with this population, and as much as I gave to them, I gained myself”. It is hoped to continue these treatments in the future

In a second innovation in the center, it is known that many children have difficulties when starting school. The demands and atmosphere in a classroom are completely different to those in kindergartens, and often pose a challenge to small children – with rules and instructions, and sitting at a desk for hours carrying out a range of new tasks - many Grade 1 pupils find themselves out of their depth.

A new service has been started, funded by Health Services in which small groups of 5 and 6 year olds will meet with an Occupational Therapist who will prepare the children for Grade 1 and teach both organizational and graphic-motor skills, while enhancing social skills and providing emotional support before the changeover from a kindergarten to a school framework.

School principals are very excited about this new venture and are referring children for assessments, so that they will be eligible to participate in school readiness groups.

1 comment:

Carolin Mothes said...

Dear "Haifa Diarist", sorry to use the comment section but I could not find another contact possibility.
I just stumbled over your blog and I am a little amazed. I am in Haifa for a few months (until June) volunteering at the Leo Baeck and I am curious to meet people in Haifa and get to know the city better - so maybe you want to meet for a coffee?

All the best!