Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW)
This past week, both youth villages hosted graduation ceremonies for the grade 12 students.
At CHW Hadassim, 366 students graduated. As a result of your generous support, 63 students from the dormitories graduated.
Amongst the graduates, two arrived to CHW Hadassim when they were as young as seven years old, and CHW Hadassim is truly their home. David* and Mia* shared that their childhood and adolescence was spent at CHW Hadassim. Mia shared that “This is the most meaningful time of my life; I was always loved and cared for.”
This was an extra special ceremony, as it was the first group of graduates from our beloved Na’aleh Program. Gad is one of the graduates.
Gad arrived to CHW Hadassim three years ago when he was 15 years old. Gad recalls that during his first year, he was such an angry boy and very closed off. He had experienced anti-Semitism in France and never fit in at school. However, as Gad shares, “CHW Hadassim changed my life.” He turned from a negative child into a positive young man with hopes and dreams. Gads’ grades improved greatly from the time he arrived to CHW Hadassim; finding a passion for math and learning Hebrew. Gad has decided that Israel is his home and will spend next year volunteering before he enlists in the IDF to serve his country. Gad expressed, “The people at CHW Hadassim, my peers and the staff were such a wonderful influence on me and helped to make me who I am today. Thank you.”
At CHW Nahalal, Professor Rivka Lazovsky attended the ceremony that honoured 252 graduating students. This was a special ceremony as it also paid tribute David Horesh, Director of the youth village, who is retiring after over 20 years of dedication to CHW Nahalal.
*Names changed for confidentiality
Visit www.chw.ca/annualcampaign to support these and other projects that support children, healthcare, and women in Israel and Canada today!
Through the Nahalal-Anieres Program, barriers for young girls are being broken down. This unique program, which offers an education in engineering, has a 30% female student body, and is increasing annually.
Ira Lotman, manager of the Anieres Elite Academy shared, “Anieres gives girls from around the world the encouragement they need to pursue a career in engineering. They see for themselves that with hard work, the sky is the limit.”
This remarkable program provides children from both Israel and around the world with an accelerated education, a chance to learn at the prestigious Technion University in Haifa, and gives access to opportunities they would otherwise not receive.
Darya is one student from CHW Nahalal whose life was changed thanks to the Nahalal-Anieres Program. Darya came from a small town in Russia. She was raised by her grandmother as her parents were unable to take care of her. When Darya began school, it was immediately recognized that she was extremely gifted. Darya had a natural affinity to mathematics. However, she always wanted more; she felt that if she stayed in Russia, she would lack the opportunity to fulfill her educational and professional dreams.
When Darya was 14 years old, her family learned about the specialized Nahalal-Anieres Program and decided that this sounded like a wonderful opportunity for her.
Darya left home and moved to CHW Nahalal. She has been studying mathematics and learning Hebrew as well. Darya was doing so well that she decided to enroll in the National Mathematics Olympiad and won third place! Following her success, Darya participated in the International Mathematics Olympiad where she placed second! Darya’s story is one of success and opportunity.
Supporting children in need while advancing women in society has been a pillar of CHW since our inception, 100 years ago.
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A Romanian photographer has traveled to 50 countries around the world, to capture portraits of women; her project is called “The Atlas of Beauty.”
Through capturing women and hearing their stories, photographer Mihaela Noroc is emphasizing and celebrating diversity. This project broke down barriers and highlighted the importance of women being their authentic selves.
For 100 years, CHW has emphasized the importance of empowering young girls and women to celebrate diversity. CHW has advocated for women’s rights and to overcome discrimination and prejudices.
One way that CHW aims to combat these issues is through the Empowerment Program for Girls at-Risk at CHW Hadassim Children and Youth Village. This is powerful program reaches out to girls from the dormitories and family units who come from challenging backgrounds. These girls have not been given the support or the tools to overcome various challenges whether psychological, emotional, or physical. For this reason, this program is critical at for these girls. Via the Empowerment Program, teenage girls are taught to a sense of self-worth and confidence. These values and skills equip these young and impressionable girls with the abilities to tackle challenges that may come their way.
*Noam is a happy little boy with a positive disposition, and always manages to put a smile on people’s faces. Since he was six months old, Noam has attended the same CHW daycare. When Noam was two years old, he sprang into daycare one morning and announced that he was going to be a big brother!
Sadly, months later, Noam’s mother gave birth to a stillborn. One year later, Noam’s mother gave birth to a baby girl with Down Syndrome. The little girl’s condition was very severe and required her to attend a specialized daycare that could best care for her needs.
Noam took this very hard. At his young age, he could not comprehend why his baby sister could not come to daycare with him. Noam struggled to understand why his sister was different. Noam shared that he wanted her with him so that he could ‘watch over her’ as her proud big brother.
The manager of the daycare saw a major change in Noam and was concerned for his well being. Noam had retreated from his friends, he became antisocial, he no longer smiled and played, and there were noticeable changes in his development.
As the daycare offers specialized home services, the manager approached Noam’s parents in order to provide them with the right tools to help their son. Noam’s parents agreed that they were struggling coping with their new situation. The daycare brought in a psychologist and social worker to help Noam during the day and also to counsel his parents in order to have the right skills to assist Noam while at home.
After a few weeks, Noam’s parents, the manager, and the caregivers began to see positive changes in Noam as he was slowly returning to his old ways. Noam slowly began to reengage with his friends and regain his cheerfulness.
At the age of three, Noam left the daycare to enter kindergarten. Noam left as a happy and well-adjusted little boy. One year later, Noam’s mother returned to the daycare as she had given birth to her third child, a healthy baby girl and wanted to enroll her in the same daycare Noam had attended as she knew she would receive the best level of care.
Noam’s mother shares that she and her family will never forget the special care and attention they received from the daycare during their challenging time. To them, the daycare is an extension of their own family.
*Name changed for confidentially
Today, the world is celebrating International Women’s Day. We have two special articles to share about how CHW is working to make the world a better place for women.
For 100 years, CHW has stood for women’s rights. CHW has advocated for women, striving to help women living with domestic violence, single mothers, and teenage girls at-risk.
Through our partnership with World WIZO, CHW supports hundreds of programs to empower women, legal aid centres, support groups for single mothers, battered women’s shelters, and centres for the prevention of violence against women.
Click here to read a special message from Professor Rivka Lazovsky on International Women’s Day.
Hadassah Hospital is promoting women’s rights, advancing opportunities, and promoting coexistence, all while saving patient’s lives. Three female Palestinian doctors have joined the team of staff at Hadassah Hospital. These physicians are receiving their training and employment via Hadassah Hospital enabling them to fulfill their dreams of becoming medical professionals, treat those in need, and bring their knowledge back to their hospitals in Judea and Samaria.
Click here to read the original article.