The reality- In distressed neighborhoods all over the country, there are thousands of children and teenagers at risk. Many of them come from families of new immigrants, and their parents are unable, due to various reasons, to provide them with basic needs, such as: nutritious meals, monitoring and assistance with their homework, enhancement of values, etc.
These children grow up to the dangerous margins of our society: few of them will graduate from high school, fewer will join the army, and they are less likely to find a profession and on the other hand, are more likely to deteriorate to criminality and drugs.
The goal – To promote and nurture children and teenagers at risk from disadvantaged families, prevent their dropping out of school, and ensure their integration in the future into the normative society and not into its dangerous margins.
The method- Daily and continuous yearlong attendance in a supplementary educational program, which supplies the following: lunch, homework assistance, enrichment activities, value-oriented education, and supper.
Kadima Youth Centers- as of December 2015 we have 20 Youth Centers in the following cities: Kiryat Gat, Yavne, Rehovot, Arad Ramle, Or Yehuda, , Tel-Aviv, Jaffa, Petah Tikva, Bat Yam ,Bnei-Brak , Kfar Saba ,Hadera, 0fakim, Kiriat Shmona, Tzfat & Bet Shean, with 973 children who participated daily in our program in the Kadima Youth Centers. All children are at risk from severely distressed families, of them are referred to us by the local welfare departments. The staff – In each youth center we employ one manager, on a full time basis (holding a B.A. or M.A. degree in education or related fields) ,and four or five volunteers in their National Service Duty, or Voluntary Service from the Kibbutz Movement.
Daily schedule- Sunday-Thursday, 12:00-19.00. The daily routine: lunch, homework assistance, enrichment activities, value-oriented education, supper.
Politics – We prohibit any political affiliation. Our value oriented education is within the Israeli consensus.
Religion – We educate our children in the spirit of Jewish values, tradition and heritage, but we are not a religious institute and we do not deal with religious education or religious influence. Obviously we observe Kashrut.
Advantages and characteristics of the Kadima Program, in comparison with similar programs:
Continuity – The children come to the youth center every day, all year around, including vacations, in oppose to participation in any after school activities, important as they may be, for a couple of hours once or twice a week.
Individualized programs and a personal follow-up for each child- Comprehensive counseling program, tailored to the child's needs. Each child receives an individual project, under his/her responsibility.
Homework assistance – We closely supervise all our children in preparing their homework on a daily basis.
Enrichment programs – English, math, and computers- all our children are familiar with computers and the internet.
Our staff- An energetic and highly motivated teaching force –National Service volunteers – all of them are the elite of our youth, carefully chosen and well trained by us.
Summer day-camp during vacations – swimming, theater, museums and trips.
We maintain close relations with the school teachers and the family's social worker and the parents.
Value-oriented education – 49 weekly topics during the entire year such as: the new year, relationships, Yom Kippur, Yom Kippur War, Sukkoth, prevention of violence, hygiene and health, tolerance, prime ministers, Hebrew language, children's rights, the globe, world history events, the three monotheistic religions, Hannuka, the calendar, art, science, addictions, reading maps, nature, Zionism, events and people in the history of Israel, “Family week,” Purim fair, environment, Israel’s wars, Passover, the Holocaust, IDF Memorial Day, Independence Day, Lag Ba-Omer, media, Jerusalem, Shavuot, music, “Book Week” and poets, animal welfare, summer safety, summer vacation, my town, Israel Defense Forces, farewells.
Administration and Finance:
Kadima Youth Centers are integral projects of Lasova, a non-profit organization, no. 58-0169530.
Lasova has all the required certificates- "Proper Management Certificate", "Non-Profit Organization Certificate", "Tax Exemption Certificate according to Section 46 of the Income Tax Rule" etc.
The operation of Lasova is solely funded by donations of generous individuals, companies and private funds. We have never requested or received any governmental support.
All donations are received on the donor's initiative without any solicitation or any fundraising events. We do not employ fund raisers nor pay any commissions for the donations.
All the members and managers of Lasova work on a voluntary basis.
Cost of establishing a Kadima Youth Center – including renovations, equipment, and furnishing: $50,000.
Monthly cost of operation – NIS 36,000 ($ 9200 as of today's exchange rate), or about $184 per child per month. The relatively low cost of the above is the result of the following:
a. In each youth center, there are 4-5 young women from the National Service, or “Shnat-Sherut” (year of service) volunteers from the Kibbutz at extremely low cost.
b. Municipalities allocate the premises at no charge, and bear the following expenses: insurance, electricity, water, social work supervision and referral of children.
c. Lasova Soup Kitchen provides the food at no cost or charge.
d. The Prison Service refers service workers for maintenance and cleaning.
e. Large part of the activities are carried out by volunteers – students programs, employees of adopting companies, soldiers, high-school students performing community service, etc.
Future Plans- Due to the importance of the national mission to help thousands of children and teenagers at risk and prevent their deterioration- we will continue our work and aspire to establish a Kadima Youth Center in every distressed neighborhood in Israel.