About a year ago the IAF Center adopted "Branco Weiss" High School students from Tiberias. The vast majority of these students come from “difficult” families, and are now in even greater distress due to the Corona pandemic.
Some students come to school not only because of their special needs but also because they are given lunch daily. They have concentration difficulties and therefore their learning process requires active, non-frontal work. We have been able to raise donations from several Jordan Valley farmers as well as used some of our funds from prior Foundation contributions that were slated for the educational programs as we used the past month's program contributions to provide necessities - we owe both the farmers and our contributors our heartfelt thanks.
The students cannot continue their usual work routines. These students do not have computers nor do they know how to operate them. They are occupied with their daily survival and not digital learning. Even during routine visits to the Center, due to very significant concentration difficulties, we connect by teaching them through sticking to non-frontal lessons because they simply do not have the ability to sit in class and certainly not in front of a computer (i..e. - zoom)
In anticipation of Passover, and due to the students' difficult financial and mental health, we joined hands and joined forces, the Israel Air Force Center staff together with Jewish and Arab volunteers as well as those from the school, purchased food baskets for the holiday and the Seder, and we sent all our gifts directly to those in need, for whom this holiday would be even more distressing and difficult.
These challenging days for our boys and girls, the difficulty of getting out of routine, staying at home, the financial difficulty of their household, stopping their routine activities, do not stop our direct and warm relationship with these students and listening to their real needs - the daily survival of families.
This is the essence of the IAF Center activities: to teach the values and the leadership we aspire to, solidarity; assistance and listening to their needs. This is the crux of our work and yes, depending on the situation and needs, it sometimes changes.
The families expressed their deep emotional thanks through their eyes which said everything. Our group recognized the acknowledgement and understanding that we are all part of the human race, with no differences in religion, gender or affiliation.
We promise to be there, listen and act. To allow and especially hope for a better future for our youngsters.