Our children, who range in age from 6-23, are referred to us by social welfare services from all over Israel after being declared children at risk. Many are placed in our villages under court order. Some of them are orphans. Most have biological families that they see regularly. Those who do not, are linked by the village staff with host families so that they too will experience a home setting on holidays, weekends and other occasions, beyond their home in the village.
Our villages are similar to all other SOS Villages in that 8-10 children of varying ages live in houses with their 'Mother'. Each village contains between 8-13 such houses. In addition, we have youth facilities in each village serving up to 15 male and female adolescents. Both villages are located in residential areas of their cities with grass and trees along with expansive play areas, but are contained in a protected and safe environment on a full facility campus.
The family like structure radiates intimacy good spirits warmth affection a feeling of belonging integration and responsibility, the village makes it possible for the children to receive supplementary services such as supplementary education(classes individual tuition village activities etc) therapy and psychological support, guidance and support by social workers and other members of staff .
The daily village routine begins with the individual continuing through to the level of the village.
Life at the villages
The entire village is rather like a large extended family allowing the children to celebrate the Jewish holydays together go on field trips, attend summer camps and other village projects which generate a feeling of belonging helping the children discover leadership and excellence .
The village takes care of all the child's needs such as clothing , health travel psychological support help with schoolwork participation in school delegations , school trips and any other activity that contributes towards development and growth .
The village is open 365 days a year for those children who need to or chose to remain at the village during the vacations. The social workers find long term host families for those children who are unable to go home on vacations.
The village maintains constant contact with the children's families no matter what their situation may be .The children are under supervision 24 hours a day. The SOS mother lives with the children in a family like atmosphere giving them a corrective experience of family values. The child care education frameworks exist in several circles creating a normative life model for the students of the village. The way the house functions, the rich and vibrant village life ,
stressing the connections to the surrounding urban community , the school; staff the psychological service and the education department all of who show their willingness and involvement with the children from their moment of arrival at the village until they end their involvement with the village ( which in some cases is more than 10 years )
As in all SOS Villages we have 'mothers', 'aunts', administrative and technical support staff and therapeutic staff. Each of our villages has a social work staff that serve as managers and coordinators for the implementation of the individual child's care plan. Various therapeutic activities are provided on and off campus, for example, therapeutic horseback riding, therapeutic animal care, music therapy, psychodrama and psychiatric intervention is available when needed. Medical attention is provided through local community health fund infirmaries. In addition, each village has a dedicated cadre of post high school volunteers who come for a year to live and work in the village, before continuing on to the Israeli army or other activities.
These volunteers serve as role models and "big brothers and sisters" to our children and youth, in addition to their invaluable efforts in many other areas of the village life. Alongside the therapeutic activities we have free time activities such as sports, music and photography classes.