Dror Israel has been offering childcare and educational support for evacuee children since October 8, aiming to provide emotional solace, alleviate parents' stress, and establish much-needed routine. Recognizing the prolonged nature of the situation, Dror Israel is now implementing lasting educational solutions, creating preschools, classes, and integrating evacuated teens into existing high schools.
In Tel Aviv, students from our vocational high school demonstrated their commitment to helping impacted communities. Yafit Shapira, a 12th-grade teacher and part of the school's leadership, shares the students' initiative:
"Amidst the school closures at the war's onset, our at-risk youth were at home, grappling with worry and anxiety. Our school instills social responsibility and leadership, encouraging students to use their skills to better the world. When evacuees arrived in Tel Aviv, our students stepped up. They facilitated kids' rooms, engaging younger ones in games and conversations, and assisted with classes for older kids. While the volunteer teachers rotated, our students, consistent and reliable, became anchors for the traumatized, displaced children and teens.
Yoav, a 12th-grade student, exemplifies this commitment. Volunteering with 7th-9th graders, he proposed altering the class schedule to introduce a music class, recognizing its importance over attempting to focus on regular subjects. Yoav organized a music session where kids shared favorite songs and discussed the significance of music during such times.
This initiative reflects our teaching philosophy – everyone has something to give. Witnessing our students actively provide support and care for traumatized kids has been truly inspiring. They have been volunteering for two weeks already and will continue as long as needed."
Einat, mother of children taking part in these programs wrote:
"When we arrived, the children were panicked and scared. They were having a hard time processing everything they'd experienced. At the hotel, we were met with games, clothes, and goodness. People with good intentions were there to help.
[Representatives from Dror Israel] came to visit us and while talking we realized that the time spent at the hotel was going to be long and it was important to create an environment for the children that would allow an active space for play and learning.
They set up classes by age group from kindergarten through 9th grade. Each class is aided by a gap year participant from Dror Israel and students from their Tel Aviv high school.
There are no words to describe this ray of light in these dark and terrible days."