Personal message from Shmuli Bing, Director, Yemin Orde Youth Village
What is it like to see our kids from the confines of a walled-in building?
If I was asked this question about two months ago, I would have thought it was a terrifying movie script. But today when I walked around the Village tears came to my eyes. To see so many youth return to the Village, to their homes, yet having to send them a hug from a distance, having to be careful, having fear combined with hope.
These youth are returning to a routine from a world full of chaos; that of financially stressed and crowded situations at home. They are returning to a more positive place, a place that will uplift them, give them access to distance learning, much needed emotional support and a lot of warmth.
True, it's not easy. These youth returned after a month of having their nights and days turned upside down. Suddenly, we have to wake them up each morning, reminding them to wear a mask. Even their informal educators are taking a risk, being in close proximity, but that is the core of our educational methodology, being with them all the way.
Being together when it is hard, to give hope when it begins to become dark. So picturing our youth right outside that building is now an exciting picture because it means we can give a hug and a smile, even if from two meters away.
And that is better than not being together at all.
Sixty of our youth returned today. They will have to be in group isolation for two weeks according to the guidelines. But suddenly you hear sounds of laughter, arguments and conversations, as well as complaints, but you hear voices of life.
The logistics are not easy. Three meals a day must be delivered to seven different locations. To manage tasks and make sure that the staff don't mix and make sure that all procedures are followed, but there is action here in the Village and it's exciting.