Special deliveries to make learning fun and lives brighter during coronavirus isolation.
We know that during this crisis, it is crucial for our informal educators, social workers and teachers to be there consistently for our youth. Our staff has made the necessary adjustments in order to meet the emotional and educational needs of the adolescents at the Village.
Right now, at Yemin Orde Youth Village, our staff is delivering study materials and care packages for every teen living outside the Village and distributing them across Israel. Each package contains study materials, books, calculators, pens, pencils, activities such as board and card games, puzzles and a Passover Haggadah. For those without sufficient internet access, we are supplying SIM cards as well.
Communication provides pipeline to learning
The 340 youth who are not in the Village have returned to their nuclear or extended families, and many are faced with difficult situations. They are experiencing loneliness and lack of confidence as they are stuck inside, generally in small apartments with multiple family members, in low-income communities. Many of their parents have lost their jobs or have been laid off because of the nationwide shutdown.
The emotional connections to our youth who are outside the Village are made on a daily basis, as youth are in touch with different staff; informal educators, teachers, social workers or national service volunteers. They use platforms such as WhatsApp, Zoom, or by telephone, holding either group meetings or individual sessions. Our staff check in to see how things are going, allowing for the youth to vent, laugh and keep up their spirits. Sometimes it’s once a day, sometimes multiple times a day, but it’s as much as needed.
This consistent communication between staff members and teens is important to reminding them that we want them here, how much they are part of the Village, but that because of the coronavirus situation, it is not possible right now.
Living and learning inside the Village
Youth who are in the Village are divided into small family units and remain together. They have learning materials, schedule of activities and engage in remote learning with their teachers. We are with our youth-today and always! It’s the Village Way.
Click here to meet Lev, 16, from Ukraine, who remains at the Village during this time.
Family units operate according to a daily schedule tailored to its needs. This includes scheduled distance learning with teachers but also extra-curricular activities to help alleviate stress, such as music and art.
For meals, groups enter the dining room in small groups and eat in shifts. They are being briefed consistently on maintaining hygiene and distance. Youth who are sick are placed in quarantine. They remain in quarantine until they no longer have a fever or any other symptoms.
For those at the Village, their hopes are high and they have been very cooperative with all of the regulations in place. They trust their educators and know that we are together with them in this.
Looking to the future for our Village Way community of meaning
As we look towards next school year, we are making the necessary plans to ensure our strong educational environment is maintained; providing a normative high school education, promoting Hebrew language acquisition, enriching extracurricular activities, life-skills training and much needed therapeutic care.
We want our youth to know that when they come back to the Village, they will have the same supportive and caring community as before, providing them continuity and security to help them continue their journeys from at-risk youth to self-reliant, happy, socially responsible adults.