The Youth Encounter Program
General- ILAN's Youth Encounters Program
ILAN'S Youth EncounterProgram was launched in 1988 to serve as the Youth movement for children andyouth aged 10 to 21 years old who suffer from severe physical - motors handicaps.The program has been operated during the years with great success, organizingfixed weekly encounters, parties during the holidays and for special events,week-ends, tours and summer camps.
Time passing by, the youngmembers who regularly participated in the movement grew up, finished theirsecondary education and went out toward their life. However, they still feltthe need of a social framework and sometimes even stronger than before. So thatrepeated demands to create a social encounter for adults came from the parentsof the youngsters as well as from the youngsters themselves.
In light of that, and onthe initiative of the members and volunteers previously involved in the Youthmovement, a new social program was created for the adult disabled from the ageof 21 years old which is called "Different Interest".
ILAN's social encountersare being run by ILAN's Headquarter and financed by donations from institutionsand private donors who identify with our goals and try to help. Due to theglobal financial difficulties, ILAN has difficulty to implement the encountersfrom its own budget and there is an urgent need to raise additional funds inorder to insure the activity's continuation.
Descriptionof the "Youth Movement" Program:
The Youth Movement isoperated with great success since 1988. The encounters provide a place ofintegrative meeting for handicapped youngsters and young people withouthandicap, and enable a direct contact between the members who participate withan equal status to the various activities.
A total of 60 handicappedchildren in danger of social isolation are involved in the Youth Movement. TheMovement is run by a coordinator and counselors from ILAN. Tens of youngstersliving in the Center Region - Tel Aviv and Dan area - are volunteering for theproject and so doing, they are creating a most-valuable interaction withhandicapped children that often leads to friendship and relationship beyond theframework of the Movement. The weekly encounters are taking place in Tel Aviv.
In addition to the weeklymeetings, the Youth Movement organizes parties, tours and conferences thatbroaden the disabled children's world both from a social and experientialperspective. Those activities constitute an escape from their harsh dailyroutine. The participation in the Movement enriches their world and preventstheir social isolation. The activities also strengthen the self-confidence andameliorate the quality of life.
The "YouthMovement" activities provide a unique opportunity for ILAN's children tomeet and develop long term relationships of friendship and mutual respect withyoungsters who aren't disabled. The relationships between handicapped childrenthemselves are also getting more significant thanks to the activities andencounters of the Movement.
All the participants arebenefiting from this joint activity, from the encounter, from the giving andfrom the better acquaintance and understanding of the life of one another.
Objectivesof "Youth Movement":
- It gives to the handicapped children an opportunity to take part in experiences that are usually not accessible to them, like tours in nature all around the country, attractions, sailing, dancing, etc.
- It provides a pleasant social framework that enables the youngsters to create relationships with their peers, both handicapped and non-handicapped that are volunteering every week as counselors.
- It strengthens the self-image of the disabled pupils and prevents them from being socially isolated. The activities are organized so that they can provide maximum pleasure and enjoyment, which are providing help and relief to better cope with the rough daily life with the handicap.
- It provides the parents and family members with a time-off from the hard and exhausting daily managing with intensive care in the impaired children.
Budgetof the "Youth Movement"
Detailed annual operationalbudget of the Youth Movement:
|Total operational budget||NIS 234,000|
|Transportation of the disabled children, of the counselors and the volunteers||NIS 110,500|
|Project coordinator||NIS 15,900|
|8 counselors||NIS 63,600|
|Activities and week-end tours||NIS 22,000|
|Raw materials for activities||NIS 22,000|
Descriptionof the Adult social encounter "Different interest":
"Differentinterest" serves as social framework for handicapped adults above age 21, in which they canenlarge their social circle, meet new friends of their age, both disabled andnot, and benefit from the social support of an adapted framework.
The regularactivity takes place once in two weeks at the Bar Ilan University. The meetings open withvarious activities in small groups, and afterwards there is a workshop with aguest artist or lecturer. In addition to the regular encounter, specialactivities are organized - Shabbats, special programs for special events andJewish holidays, two long tours during the year and more outdoors activities.
Objectives of theencounter "Different interest":
The strong demandfor the creation of a separate group for the adults derives from the fact thatwhile the disable youngsters leave the school framework, they remain withimportant unfulfilled emotional needs. They miss the feeling of belonging to aframework mainly because at their age there is only a partial answer to theirneeds of going out to work, to study, etc.
An additionalobjective of the encounter, beyond the supply of a social circle, is to referto subjects that bother young adults whether they are disabled or not, on thetheoretical level as well as on the practical level. Therefore the guiding linefor the subjects to be discussed in the encounters is relative to "lifeskills" as: finding a job, residence, independence, social communication,relationship with a partner, etc.
Budget ofthe "Different interest" progam:
|Annual operational budget of the "Different interest" encounters||NIS 103,000|
|Transportation of the disabled children, of the counselors and the volunteers||NIS 29,500 *|
|Project coordinator||NIS 14,700|
|Raw materials for activities||NIS 22,000|
|Two long tours and various events||NIS 36,800|
* Please note that due to thefact that the members of this program are older, part of them are able to comeindependently to the meetings, and only a small number of them needs ILAN'shelp for transportation in a special vehicle for handicapped.