High on Mount Carmel in Haifa, WIZO Ahuzat Yeladim our residential boarding school for disadvantaged youth offers a last chance for troubled children. This school is a last resort for these young people who have suffered abuse, rejection and neglect. Often the children are sent to Ahuzat Yeladim as a last resort before being institutionalized by the courts. It is the final opportunity for these students to find stability, safety, the opportunity to learn with individual learning programs and to find a way to overcome their difficulties.
Ahuzat Yeladim was founded in 1939. The first dormitory as we presently know it was built in 1940.
- Director: Yossi Saragossi
- Number of staff members: About 65 dormitory staff members and 30 Education Ministry staff members.
- Structure: A special education school based on practical work; a six-year post-elementary school.
- Therapeutic dormitory: 4 groups, about 60 children.
- Post-hospitalization unit: 3 groups, 40 children.
- Those benefiting from services: about 100 children, aged 12-18.
WIZO Ahuzat Yeladim, a therapeutic and post-hospitalization residential treatment facility is currently home to youth who suffer from behavioural, emotional and psychiatric problems and who need intensive care and supervision. Very often these youth have failed at previous schools and treatment at Ahuzat Yeladim is often their last opportunity to succeed.
The school gives these children a chance to get their lives back on track through individualized support and counseling and features a staff-to-student ratio of nearly 1:1. The staff includes teachers, counselors, volunteer youth leaders, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists. Therapies offered include music, art, animals and literature (bibliotherapy).
All students at WIZO Ahuzat Yeladim reside in one of the three dormitories on campus The Sonia and Don Marejn Dormitory, The Rae and Tom Mandel Dormitory, The Jonas Dormitory.
In 2009 the Lowy Family ‘House of Dreams’ was inaugurated. This multi purpose new building, three stories high, was completely built with donations from WIZO Australia and includes professional workshops (ceramics, jewellery making, etc.), therapy and guidance rooms, administrative offices and a kiosk for the pupils.
“Ha ‘Ahuza Ha’ktana” dormitory is a new therapeutic dormitory for children between the ages of 7-12 with behavioural and emotional problems. The dormitory was established in 2010 by WIZO and operates according to the regulations of the Ministry of Welfare. “Ha’Ahuza Ha’ktana” is designed as a two story house. The house contains a living room, a kitchen, a dining room, 5 sleeping rooms, play and computer space and an outdoor areas including animal therapy area, sports facilities and a therapeutic garden. Also, there are small classrooms and a room for emotional therapy.
This wonderful school is a home for the students in it and by supporting it WIZO Australia has made a real difference to young lives in Israel.