Tahar Nagar, Manager of Sderot Outreach Van shared her thoughts about working with at-risk youth during times of emergency.
“Yesterday, the alarms went off at noon. It caught us all off guard, just when we, the outreach van team, knew that our boys and girls were on their way home from school.
According to the instructions of the Home Front Command, we could not go out in the evening to meet our youth. We immediately reached out to all the youth we are in contact with, as a group and personally. We wanted them to know that we are there for them and that they have someone to talk to, someone to ask questions, that we are here to listen, that they are not alone.
In moments like these, it feels like they are no longer teens, boys and girls, but grown ups who suddenly have to go from 0 to 100. From their normal routine and issues of adolescence they change to emergency mode within seconds, they help their parents, they look after their siblings. And then this morning, after a sleepless night, they go back to normal again.
With a 7 seconds notice to get to the bomb shelter there is no room for mistakes.
The youth of this region needs to go from being just teens from a small town, to bearing massive personal responsibility, because with a 7 seconds notice to get to the bomb shelter there is no room for mistakes.
The most opinionated and confident teen may face an anxiety attack in the coming escalation, the most goofy girl takes on the big sister role, responsible and devoted at the sound of the first alarm.
Yesterday we were supposed to go out in the evening and meet Y., a boy we have been assisting for six months. When we informed him that we could not meet him in the evening due to the instructions of the Home Front Command, he asked: “What are the chances that you are just passing through? I am alone and I am post-traumatic.”
We will continue to be there for them, always. During times of routine and emergency. At all times.”