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Published by Yakov Levin

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Published by: Yakov Levin on Apr 12, 2010
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01/08/2012

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To Whom It May ConcernI am writing to you today on behalf of the Help and Education Center, which wasestablished as an Israeli nonprofit organization in 1970. For more than 30 yearsthe Center has served the peripheral community of Kiryat Gat and its surrounding areas as a place devoted to improving the lives of the people that we serve. The Help and Education Center aims to provide educational reinforcement, and therapeutic and welfare services for the well being and advancement of weak populations in of Kiryat Gat.The statistics concerning the town are far from uplifting. Out of the town’s 57,000 residents, more than half of them live off of welfare payments or earn salaries at a similar level. Kiryat Gat has its share of children and youth at-risk—those who have behavioral problems in school, are delinquent, and even drop out school—many of which come from depressed socioeconomic background. There are over2,000 children registered with the welfare authorities. Countless children areleft to fend for themselves before and after school and would go completely hungry without the programs offered at the Help and Education Center. Often the onlyfood available to these children is bread; without sufficient nutrition, children and youth cannot develop properly. For many, the lunch that they receive in school or in one of the Center’s other programs is their only daily meal. Sadly,some will even take part of their food home to help feed their siblings or family.The mission of the Help and Education Center is twofold: 1) to provide the “right” programs which can empower the residents of Kiryat Gat and give them the tools to raise themselves out of their unfortunate situation and; 2) to provide educational and enrichment programs as well as academic tutoring that enable the youth to create a better future for themselves.Since its inception, the Center has been operating programs in accordance with our above mission serving more than 3,000 people each year. Our primary programsinclude:Kindergarten and Daycare Centers—in Israel in order to survive, both parents must work—especially in peripheral towns like Kiryat Gat. Many young children in our area suffer from severe neglect. In order to make a positive difference in their lives, an intervention is necessary before primary school begins. TheCenter operates 6 daycare centers and 17 kindergartens that provides for many of the developmental needs of these children and more importantly, a regular hotmeal and nurturing environment.Elementary Schools—The Center operates a school for boys and a school for girls. The girls school is one of our longest standing projects and is fully accredited as a public school by the Ministry of Education in Israel. Our studentpopulation is very diverse—students come from both religious and secular home and include native Israelis as well as many new immigrants from the FSU, Ethiopiaand South America.Adult Educational Programs—the Center offers parenting, employment skills and financial skills workshops, among other topics as well as family counselingTutoring and Enrichment Activities and Summer Camps—Programming operatesfrom 6:30am – 6:30pm and provides more than 700 children with a safe environment that provides homework assistance and teaches life-skills, good morals, and advancement through education.Emergency Food Baskets and Assistance for Needy Families—The Center provides emergency allocation baskets for families in severe distress. It also operates a community kitchen where people can come twice a week for hot meals. The food distribution network reaches 80 disadvantaged families.Family Services and Counseling—Many of these children need extra supportand care outside of an educational environment due to the dismal situations tha

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