Tel Aviv Magen Avraham – Mathilde Nahmias Hassid Comprehensive Care Center
The WIZO Day Care Center at Magen Avraham street is a multipurpose and multicultural day care, accommodating both Arabs and Jews coming from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Many of the children have developmental and behavioral difficulties, and as a result they are already unfairly at risk and vulnerable early on in life. In order to shape the children’s lives for the better, the day care center holds several courses and training sessions, including training programs for caregivers held by the Hirsch institute, and makes sure to stress the togetherness and ‘open heart’ principles they carry. The day care center is suitably located in the heart of Yaffo, an old neighborhood known to have both an Arab and Jewish population.
The day care took in a 3-year-old boy with a mother who suffers from mental difficulties and a father with a troubled family background. When the boy first arrived at the center he used to hit and bite children almost on a daily basis, in a way that endangered both him and others. In a collaborative process, working together with his parents, the boy’s behavior has improved significantly.
Though the families that arrive at the day care center are very diverse, especially since we have seen a migration of young, established families moving to Yaffo, many of the families are characterized by a low socioeconomic status and employment difficulties. A majority of the children have developmental problems, particularly specific language impairments, behavioral problems, and some suffer from neglect. It is therefore of high importance to give the staff the advanced training needed, and this is done in collaboration with the Institute for Democratic Education in Israel and the Hirsch Center. Parents that visit the center have expressed great satisfaction and appreciate the unique cultural heritage they cultivate at the center.
The center offers several different programs to help facilitate the developmental process for the children. Amongst others they use puppet theater as therapy, so called ‘doll-therapy’, trainees from ‘Mechina Telem’ bring dogs and hold activities for children individually and in groups, they have a parent and baby instruction course held by The Academic College in Yaffo, and developmental support for infants. In collaboration with the parents they hold parties, meetings and workshops, and once a year they have a large happening in the day care yard not only for the families who are part of the day care, but also for the population living in the surrounding neighborhood.