Monday, October 11, 2010

Garinei Ha'am Shabbaton

This past weekend, Tova and I helped lead a shabbaton of sorts, of the three garinim that Year Coursers of 2010-2011 have continued/created. They include Garin Tzedek, Garin Arevim (of whose participants donate time to support victims of shock and terror), and Garin Kayamut (of whose participants want to live in an environmentally sustainable way). We came together as Garinei Ha'am, with the common aim of making the world a little bit better by continuing to build Israel.
Over the weekend, guest-speaker Nic from the African Refugee Development Center came and spoke about the problems facing refugees and asylum seekers, particularly the plight of the Darfuris and South Sudanese.
Those interested in Garin Tzedek were able to have questions answered by Nic, and use his information to start developing plans for this year in every section of Year Course.
Meanwhile, in Arad, Tova and I continue to volunteer at the Gan. One woman takes care of about 20 kids for the entire day. She cooks, cleans, and tries to supervise all of them. The ages range from about six months to 12 years old. We come to the gan to give the kids attention that they need, and help them start to learn Hebrew and English. They are stuck inside one room, because the one and only caretaker cannot supervise two areas at once. She also doesn't speak Hebrew or English (only Arabic), but insists on feeding us at least once a day. Everyone in the community chips in for the small apartment that the kids go to for daycare, and they have some toys and food, although it seems minimal.
Discipline is extremely different in Sudan than in Israel, or America. The kids learn from their parents and peers, and resort to crueler methods of punishment. It is for this reason that we'd love any comments about behavior modification for small children!
We hope to improve the Gan by painting it, or raising money for more age-appropriate toys and options for the kids, but are often hindered by the red tape and meaningless structure that exists even within the Sudanese community of Arad.
We'd love to hear suggestions on how to help improve the lives of these children of the Gan, and can't wait to work with the rest of our section to effect change here.

1 comment:

  1. Alexis, I have made a donation to Hadassah and put on the check "Garin Tzedek", as well as, writing a note to Andrew explaining to him that I would like the funds to go towards supplies for the program/children. You should post the address in your blog.
    As for behavior mod., I spoke to you in regards to a few options, however, it's going to be like beating your head against the wall due to the woman in charge is not on the same page as you and Tova.
    I will post this site and you should do the same. I will also send it directly to my friends that are teachers of younger children.
    Dad and me are extremely proud of your efforts! Love you! Mom