Support for evacuated northern communities

Around 80,000 residents from over 30 Northern communities evacuated from their homes including those from towns such as Kiryat Shmona, Shlomi and Metula. The displaced residents are scattered throughout the country, including Tiberias, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Eilat. 

As the security situation along the southern border has calmed down, those evacuated from this region are beginning to return home or settle temporarily until their communities are restored. 

However, as the threat from Hezbollah in the North persists and appears to be escalating steadily, the future of displaced residents from the northern border remains uncertain – there is currently no foreseeable timeline for their return home, at least for many more months and if war does break out, they may need to move more south. 

As a result, people of all ages in the North are facing many challenges including adjusting to a new and unfamiliar environment, loss of employment, availability and accessibility of health, education, welfare and leisure services. It has been identified that the following areas of support are required to help these residents regain some sense of normality and routine back into their lives, having suffered a high level of disruption and stress over the past six months. 

 

Hiring Community Co-ordinators to serve as a central support during the emergency routine and in times of crisis

 Every municipality has the obligation to take care of its residents by providing essential services such as welfare, education and health. Following the large-scale evacuation in many northern cities, the residents are dispersed around various locations making it more challenging for the local municipalities to provide these essential services. As well, those who haven’t been evacuated are struggling to access services due to accessibility issues and security threats. 

At present, 22 community co-ordinators are working to ensure the services are run efficiently and people are supported regardless of if they have been displaced or not. 

Their roles include:  

  • Creating social community responses tailored to the community’s needs. 
  • Establishing an emergency routine – regular meetings, evolving content, fixed discussion circles, etc. 
  • Enhancing local volunteer activities. 
  • Developing personal activity plans and monitoring participants to ensure no one is left alone. 
  • Creating activity initiatives for emergency and crisis times.

Supporting Children and Youth 

Strengthening youth co-ordinators and guides in youth clubs 

The lives of all the young people have been turned upside down by the crisis situation. As well as the general stress and anxiety, they have been stuck inside hotels with little to do. In order to resolve the problem, many youth clubs have been set up in the hotels which is a place for teenagers to go, meet their peers and take part in activities. The clubs are run by co-ordinators and guides and there is a need for more staff to help run the activities that are providing so much vital relief. 

Leisure activities and excursion days 

As well as taking part in activities in the hotels, it is also important that the children and youth get an opportunity to leave their surroundings for day trips and activities. There are multiple organisations who are running such programmes and asking for our support: 
 

Etgarim

Through their Emergency Relief Project, Etgarim provides activities for children and youth with and without disabilities. They work with groups over a few sessions in order to develop relationships and a bond with the children who attend. The activities they provide not only serve to benefit the children but also the parents who are in desperate need of some respite and solace themselves. In some centres the parents can join in with the activities and in some there are adult-only classes too. 

Since the beginning of the conflict, Etgarim is running over 40 activities every week for evacuees located at the Dead Sea, Kibbutz Mzraa, Kibbutz Sdei Yam, Haifa, Netanya, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem. The organisation is in the process of establishing a new club in the city of Sderot and requires assistance for its establishment and integration. 

KKL Israel 

KKL Israel is another organisation running activities and day-trips for evacuated families which includes respite days, adventure, leisure, educational and team building activities. 

Please donate today so that JNF UK can be there for people in the north who need our help.

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