WIZO Helping Youth
Providing compassion, direction and success for every youth through Youth Villages, Special Education, Youth Centers and programs directed at youths at risk.
WIZO’s educational frameworks provide the best education, individual attention, and support for all WIZO youths.
WIZO’s main goals for youths are
[icon name=”check”]To close the educational gap between disadvantaged children and those from stable homes, and ensure that no child falls between the cracks.
[icon name=”check”]To nurture the natural talents of each youth and guide them in using these talents to build a career and a more promising future.
[icon name=”check”]To instill a sense of personal and national pride in each youth and create responsible, giving citizens.
To achieve these goals WIZO operates the Youth Villages, Special Education Schools, Youth Centers and programs for Youth at Risk.
WIZO’s five youth villages are home to 5,500 young people, 1,100 of whom live in the school’s dormitories and are from disadvantaged backgrounds. Each village has a unique approach and provides individual attention, education, therapies and guidance to each youth.
WIZO invests heavily in every student, helping them overcome the difficulties of their background while providing them with options for the future. Here, special talents and skills are brought out and nurtured, allowing each youth to succeed in his or her own way.
WIZO Florida Sponsors the Nir Haemek Youth Village in Afula. For over nine decades, WIZO has been home to hundreds of thousands of children, including some of Israel’s least fortunate young citizens. WIZO provides a warm, supportive, and loving environment for children in need, including a home for children who have none. Children living in WIZO facilities receive the support and experise they need from psychologists, social workers, and educational staff. WIZO has implemented unique programs in order to ensure their students always have a home to live in and a family in which to belong.
The facility provides residential facilities for about 175 children from troubled households. Those residing in the dormitories are either survivors of abuse and neglect or have immigrated to Israel without relatives to care for them. Many of the children are referred to Nir Haemek by social service agencies.
The school is one of the largest, most modern schools in northern Israel and is a remarkable model of mainstreaming high risk teens from dysfunctional homes with students from the surrounding neighborhood. Nearly 900 students from the Afula area who return home at the end of the school day learn with students residing in Nir Haemek’s dormitories.
A total of 175 staff and faculty members work at Nir Haemek to ensure that each child’s educational and emotional needs are met.
WIZO has found that many of the children that reside in Nir Haemek’s dormitories suffer from symptoms that typically accompany Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) including but not limited to difficulties concentrating, restlessness and impulsivity. The most significant challenge in treatment is that for many the students their difficulties were not identified until they arrived at Nir Haemek in their teens. Research has shown that children suffering from symptoms of ADD/ADHD are able to overcome their difficulties with proper attention and early intervention. However, this intervention is nearly impossible as even the children’s most basic needs were not met in their homes. WIZO provides many therapies that have helped these students thrive.
WIZO’s three schools for special education
Include two vocational schools and one technological high school, all of which cater to hundreds of youth with behavioral and emotional problems or who cannot succeed in regular school frameworks. Each school has its own specialized curriculum. Recognizing each child’s individuality, natural abilities, and special needs, WIZO wants to ensure each child’s emotional well-being, personal development, and educational advancement.
WIZO’s schools are dedicated to meeting the needs of students who require special education and provide a ‘last chance’ for students who have failed in the traditional school setting. WIZO works to enable every student to earn a degree or become skilled in a marketable trade, and to enlist in the IDF or National Service as part of their journey to becoming productive, responsible, independent and contributing citizens
WIZO’s youth centers and youth clubs are where disadvantaged children receive tutoring, guidance, communication, leadership, and training in music and the arts that enrich their lives and create talented, confident young men and women. Instead of aimlessly wandering the streets they learn to build a future.
Youth at Risk
WIZO’s youth at risk programs include Warm Homes for youngsters who have no stable home life, programs of empowerment and guidance for girls, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah program, therapies, support groups and more.