The Ashkelon Family Nest Project assists children in Ashkelon that are in financial and emotional distress.
Ashkelon Family Nest Background:
The Nest Project is run by the Family Nest Association together with the Social Services Department.
The program was established in 1989 to help families with young children that avoid using the services provided by the community or that use these services inefficiently, that have at least one child under the age of 6 and have difficulty functioning as parents. Consequently their children are neglected and/ or at risk.
The Nest Program is a "Home Visit" program for young mothers to deal with family problems such as: violence in the family, alcoholism/ drug abuse, single parent families, immigrant families, socio-economic problems, and so forth. The common denominator among these women is their inability to cope with routine tasks and this situation creates extreme difficulties for the mothers and places their children at risk.
The objective of the Program is to help these mothers and their children break away from the cycle of distress and helplessness and to transform them into people that provide help to others instead of people who are in need of help – to transform them into independent women that support themselves, their children and other mothers in the same situation.
We offer these mothers a chance to experience a supportive and nurturing connection. Through this supportive and guiding relationship, which is based on acceptance and is not judgmental, volunteers boost the women's self-image, their parenting abilities, and assist them to utilize different community services. Currently there are approximately 100 young mothers in the Program, about 200 children and about 55 supporters (volunteers) – in addition to other volunteers that join certain activities throughout the year. Throughout the year a number of events are held for the mothers and their children, such as: activities based around festivals, visits to a museum, swimming pools, etc. Most of the families that are treated at the Nest Project are encountering severe financial difficulties.
We believe that leisure and cultural activities are low on these families' priorities list. We also feel that these areas are of great importance to the children's development, to strengthening the parental relationship and allowing the children to experience the same experiences as other children.
Recreational Children Workshops:
The playroom will be open every Tuesday between 16:00 – 19:00 it will be operated by social work students, volunteers and external facilitators. The playroom is designed for children between the ages of 6-8 and their parents. Currently there is no solution for this age group in the community if they are not enrolled in family clubs, at Beit Zippora or Perach (local student-child scholarship program) through the social services. Presently 30 children of this age group are participants in the Program; while in total the playroom will serve around 50 people.
Goals of holding recreational workshops:
- To facilitate experiential interaction between parent and child.
- An alternative solution for children whose parents cannot [afford to] enroll them in activities
- To enrich the child's development.
- To keep the children occupied while their mothers participate in parent groups.
- Children whose parents are unable to buy games and a computer are able to enjoy these activities as part of the Project.Overview of the
Recreational Children Workshops:
Baking/cooking class: Ruti Caravani – one of the Project's volunteers will teach the group. The objective of the group is to create experiential interaction between the parent and the child, to encourage independence and involvement of the child within the home, reinforce the child's self-esteem, etc.
Therapeutic gardening class: This class will be taught by a gardener and social worker. Each family will receive a flower bed which they will cultivate. At the end of the sessions an additional group will be opened with different parent-child pairs.
Enrichment workshops: In order to market the playroom to the participants once a month we will hold an experiential workshop for children.
Parents groups: fathers and mothers that are unable to participate in the morning parents groups can come to afternoon parents classes. And the playroom will act as a "babysitter" for the children while the parents are in their group.
The playroom: the volunteers and the students will activate the children using the existing games and they will hold story hours, crafts, movies, music and free play with the children.
The need Statement for a Playroom for the children:
The Playroom is open to fathers and not just to the mothers which most of the Project's activities are directed at. The Playroom enables ongoing activities with the children at the Project beyond the children's groups, parties before holidays and the summer camp. The Playroom will constitute a social club, a kind of "open house" for the children. The Playroom will give the team members an opportunity to observe and to guide the mothers that are struggling to cope with their children.
Most of the participants in the Program live in the south of Ashkelon, which is considered one of the areas with the lowest income in the country. According to ratings of the Bureau of Statistics the southern area of Ashkelon is rated 2-5 out of 20. There are also many women of single parent status, and around 30% of the women in the Program are new immigrants, for the most part from the former USSR or Ethiopia.
Thank you for your interest in the Ashkelon Family Nest Project, we hope that you will join the family of Family Nest supporters. We would be happy to see you at any time that you would like to visit the program in order to look around. The Family Nest is registered as an Association under section 46, and can issue a receipt for every donation received.
Chairperson: The Family Nest Association
For more information contact: Christiana van Zyl | EMAIL US
For financial contributions towards this project:
FNB (FIRST NATIONAL BANK)
Acc Name: Perets Zion
Acc Number: 62230608153
Branch code: 210114
Swift Nubmer: FIRNZAJJ