In preparation for the new school year in Israel, VFI distributed backpacks to thousands of children in need over the summer, including children of refugees and foreign workers in Tel Aviv. Vision for Israel partnered with the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, who created a special centre called "Messilah" that provides information and social aid to the tens of thousands of refugees in the city.
The distribution took place at the "Messilah" centre. Parents and children arrived to receive the gifts, and the children were screaming with joy. Without the donation of these new backpacks, the children would have to go to school with plastic bags.
One of the children we met, Gabriel*, has a single mum with a story that broke our hearts. A few years ago, Gabriel’s mother was married to a handicapped man and she was the only provider. Gabriel was put in day-care only a few months after he was born so that his mother could go to work. Not able to speak until he was three, Gabriel was diagnosed on the autistic spectrum after a long process with a social worker from the centre. In January 2017, the husband left the house abruptly and took all the family's savings. His sudden disappearance negatively influenced Gabriel's emotional state and behaviour, as well as the mother's mental health. Despite the immense difficulty, Gabriel's mother continued to care for his special needs and integrated him into a proper educational frame. Later, she was fired from her job and at the same time, was recognised as a victim of human trafficking (she was kidnapped and tortured in the Sinai Desert after escaping her home country). Thanks to his mother's care and help from the social worker, Gabriel is going to a special communications kindergarten where he's progressing and is loved by the other children and staff. His mother found a new job and is able to keep her head above water.
It is thanks to your generous donations that struggling children like Gabriel can go to school with a brand-new backpack!
(*name has been changed)