Many kids with difficulties on one hand and the limited number of assessment and treatment services on the other have resulted in a dismal situation: Many children with developmental issues are receiving no care.
Meir Panim has recently banded together with the Jerusalem Variety Center, Hadassah Hospital and the Medical Association in Israel (“HaRi”) and with the generous assistance of the Guydamak Foundation, to open a Center for Children’s Growth. This Center aims to provide educational and clinical treatment for children from families in distress with the purpose of helping them to reach their full potential.
The Jerusalem Variety Center is in charge of the educational-didactic aspect and manages the learning center, didactic and psycho-didactic assessments, speech therapists, psychologists, social workers and complementary therapy by means of the arts and alternative medicine.
Hadassah Hospital is managing the medical services provided in the neurological unit, which is staffed by neurologists, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, social workers and physical therapists.
Meir Panim is in charge of the social issues in the center by providing an equal opportunity for children from families in distress with physiological and/or didactic problems.
In present-day Israel there is a severe lack of child development clinics. The health clinics and hospitals have many applicants, with waiting lists of 8-12 months for these issues. In these cases, the treatment is very difficult and is limited in its effect because the existing system cannot address all the child’s needs due to an overburdened system. According to Dudi Zilbershlag: “The aim is to support weak families who don’t have the means to pay for assessments and treatment and to help them build a brighter future.”
The Center was dedicated in the beginning of the month at 17 Diskin St. in Jerusalem. Services aim to enable children of needy families to acquire the tools needed to cope with problems such as motor and development disturbances, learning disabilities, dyslexia, and ADD.
Aryeh Rugel, the Jerusalem Variety Center’s manager said: “I have reached the conclusion that only with the help of the good people who provide us with the resources can we give the children services…A child doesn’t need to suffer just because neither the government nor the municipality provides funding…”
The uniqueness of the project is manifested in the professional excellence of its partners and the provision of paramedical and educational services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, didactic and psychological assessments, enrichment in academic studies and more. Providing this equal opportunity for children from financially weak families contributes significantly to reducing the gap between the social classes.