Dani Levit, Vice President at ELEM Israel shared his thoughts on the beginning of the new school year.
The school year has begun and everyone is breathing a sigh of relief. The kids are back to school and the parents can go back to their daily routine.
Some children, however, begin this year with a heavy heart. Going back to school is not easy for everyone.
There are those for whom arriving at school and meeting their peers causes daily anxiety. Emphasizing what they are not, what they don’t have and may never have.
Looks can sometimes tell a story – old shoes, a torn bag, an empty pencil box, the school logo on the uniform is faded and peeling. These are the simpler cases, in which it is easier for adults to recognize and understand that something needs to be addressed, or that specific help is required.
But this is not always the case. Sometimes brand clothing and a smiling face hide a painful truth, which usually will not be addressed. Children who come from a dysfunctional home, with endless tensions and worries, carry a heavy load, too big for them to shoulder.
In the endless race called life, they don’t always find their place. Because we have to be enough and achieve, and those who can’t keep up will find themselves left behind.
This is where ELEM comes in.
To observe, identify and work for those on the margins, whose pain and difficulty, and even they themselves, are transparent.
To be there for them as stable figures that one can trust and believe, who won’t give up when things are hard.
We instill the belief that they deserve good things like everyone else. Together with them we pave the way. We are present day and night. The beginning of the school year reminds me how important that is.
In the picture is one of our Shluk centers where we work with youth on school grounds to help minimize dropping out and to strengthen their connection to the school environment.