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Noa came to WIZO Ahuzat Yeladim six months ago. She is 14 years old and has endured a lifetime of abuse and neglect. She was subject to constant physical violence by her father who terrorised the family. Her mother turned to drug addiction in an attempt to escape her horrific situation. Noa was often malnourished due to the chaotic circumstances at home, and her schooling was sporadic. By the time she reached her early teens, Noa was living on the streets, participating in petty crime and in danger of becoming a prostitute. Through the welfare and court system, she was admitted to WIZO Ahuzat Yeladim.

When Noa was assessed by the schools expert staff of psychologists and educators, the most distressing aspect of her profile was that she seemed totally unwilling to make any effort to participate in the program of counselling, education and activities set up for her. She was sullen, uncooperative, anti-social and often physically aggressive.

One of the most effective elements of the school’s multi-disciplinary treatment is the music therapy program. At one of Nao’s first sessions with the music therapy, it became apparent that Noa had a beautiful singing voice. The therapy team decided to give her intensive training in this area and gradually she began to respond. The praise and encouragement she received from her music therapist gave Noa her first positive experience with an authority figure, and she slowly began to lower her defences and to open up to other counsellors. As her talent became more evident, Noa began to receive positive reinforcement from her peers, and her self-esteem grew.

Noa is now working hard to catch up on the education she missed out on, and has become a loving member of the WIZO Ahuzat Yeladim ‘family’. Her beautiful voice is heard to great effect at school events and even her practice sessions are a joy to those lucky enough to overhear them.

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