Friday, June 29, 2007

Jewish Agency to assist Gush Katif evacuees

Jewish Agency launches an Assistance Program for Evacuees from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria of 6.5 million shekels.

Areas of assistance: job placement, therapy for children, leisure activities for older evacuees, family therapy

Source: Jewish Agency for Israel

The Jewish Agency is launching an assistance program for those people who were relocated form Gush Katif and northern Samaria. The program will focus on psychological, educational and career assistance, with the aim of helping evacuees get back to normal life and giving them the tools they need to deal with the trauma of evacuation and terror attacks that they experienced.

This new program was announced today at the meetings of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem in which hundreds of representatives of communities and donors throughout the world participate.

The overall budget of the assistance program will be 6.5 million shekels, thanks to a special donation from the United Jewish Communities.

Special emphasis will be placed on educational programs for children of evacuees such as scholarships for higher education and summer camps, setting up a community youth club in Nitzan, and purchasing educational enrichment equipment for schools in the new communities. Furthermore, a special donation from the Chicago community will make possible a child therapy program to help children deal with the trauma of terror attacks and relocation.

There will also be a number of programs that will help evacuees get integrated into the job market, such as work placement programs, creating new workplaces, entrepreneurship, professional training not being funded by the authorities, etc.

The program includes special initiatives to help evacuees deal with the new reality: enrichment activities for evacuees over 50 whose job placement chances are limited; economic counseling on managing compensation funds and reestablishing the household; joint activity for parents and children for strengthening family unit; dealing with anxieties, etc.

Chairman of the Jewish Agency Zeev Bielski said that the evacuees are people who underwent serious trauma and all of the various bodies - the government, donors and voluntary organizations -- must work together to help them return to normal.