World ORT Kadima Mada, the NGO that promotes science-technology education in Israel’s social and geographic periphery, has established a fund with an annual budget of NIS 2 million to aid housebound, sick children nationwide. The funds have been raised by Kadima Mada mainly via donations from Jewish communities in the Diaspora.
Kadima Mada is the representative in Israel of the international educational organization World ORT that has been in operation since 1880 and is active in over 40 countries, advancing science and technology education worldwide. As part of its activities in Israel, Kadima Mada operates a unique educational program serving tens of thousands of hospitalized children and youth. Run in conjunction with the Ministry of Education's 'Hospital Schools', enrichment programs and school-type studies take place in educational centers within over 35 regular, rehabilitation and psychiatric hospitals throughout the country.
Kadima Mada also operates the 'Shlabim' program that provides educational services and paramedical treatments to approximately 5,000 children annually who are housebound due to medical reasons. The program’s goal is to enable these children to maintain as much of their daily and educational routine as possible while absent from school.
The new fund will provide the parents of these housebound children with assistance in purchasing amenities and equipment that are essential for their child’s treatment and care but are not covered by regular healthcare programs or social services. These might include learning aids for special needs children (such as a system for controlling the mouse pointer with eyelid movements), tablet computers and digital devices, special treatments for children with rare diseases, orthodontic treatments and the installation of accessibility systems (such as in-house elevators that enable children in wheelchairs to move between the upstairs and downstairs floors of a house), and more.
Avi Ganon, CEO of Kadima Mada stated: “During our on-going daily work with housebound children and their parents, we learnt of the distress caused by their inability to afford the medical equipment and services crucial for the children’s development and family’s welfare, to say nothing of the tremendous financial challenge in caring for a child with a rare disease. Upon realizing that there are insufficient frameworks addressing these needs, we took it upon ourselves to establish this new fund and recruited the necessary resources mainly from Jewish communities in the Diaspora. The funds raised thus far are of course insufficient to meet all the children's needs but it is definitely a start.”
Kadima Mada was founded ten years ago as the Israeli representative of World ORT. The organization perceives science and technology education as a means towards an 'education for life' and as a bridge to reducing gaps between Israel’s diverse populations. World ORT Kadima Mada initiates, develops and implements innovative educational programs within formal and informal education systems in the country’s social and geographic peripheries, incorporating advanced educational technologies developed locally and abroad. Programs include: the installation of 1,000 Smart classrooms, MadaPark science campus in Kiryat Yam, YOUniversity Academia for Youth, Anières Elite Academy and more.
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