Lily & Marcus Sieff WIZO Comprehensive Care Center
Afula comprehensive day care center takes in children from working families and children that have been referred through welfare programs for disadvantaged families. There are also 14 children who are at municipal kindergartens in the morning, then arrive at the there in the afternoon and stay until 7 pm. In total they take care of 83 children. The day care is located in Afula, in a residential area where the socioeconomic level is low. They have taken several steps to create an educational plan to help both parents and children. One of the unique initiatives they have started is therapeutic gardening. Where the children learn how to cultivate and plant in the garden they have at their premises, and of course pick and eat the fruits and vegetables when they’re ready.
At the day care center, they help not only children, but also their families. There was a mother who had lost her fingers and had several children to take care of at home. She expressed a great desire to work, but no one took her in because of her disability. The daycare reached out to the community and they were able to successfully get her into the job market. She is now very satisfied with her job, and this has remarkably helped the entire family.
The population in the neighborhood surrounding the care center has a lower socioeconomic level than the ones who generally receive support from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, and many suffer from drug and alcohol abuse. The work they are doing at the day care center is therefore crucial in developing the neighborhood and creating opportunities and change for its families. Together with a social worker they offer individual parental guidance and have games and other activities for parents and children to enjoy together.
The day care center follows an educational plan made in cooperation with the Municipality of Afula. They have health professionals who treat children in need, both at the physical and emotional level. They have students who teach the children acting and animal care. Parents and children come to the playground where there is parental guidance on how to play with the kids, they tell stories to the children, create poems, sing and share different experiences together, and more. In addition, the day care center work together with schools and other kindergartens in the area on different projects.