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We have recently opened the first PANDA group in the Yad Rachel Afterschool Center in Bat Yam. The group is dyadic, which means it provides a therapy to 7 parent-child pairs from the group.
PANDA (The name is based on the Hebrew abbreviation of the sentence “Here We’ll learn the ways to cope”) is a new and a very special program, dedicated to self-regulation amongst children. It is based on the latest knowledge in the field of building and strengthening the ability to self-regulation, including techniques of mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral methods and narrative interventions that are applied creatively and playfully.
The first meeting was a preparatory meeting for parents only, next week we will also meet with the children and start working together and learn about new methods of coping with various kinds of crisises.
Recently we’ve arranged a fun evening for the mothers of the kids from our After School Center in Bat Yam.
The purpose of the evening was just to let them enjoy one evening without the children, husbands, and other things to worry about, the evening just for them.
We invited a makeup artist who works a lot in various fashion styles. She gave a lecture about ways to apply a makeup and also many great tips about cosmetics and care, trying to adjust to the needs of for each one of the mothers.
Finally there was a rich and healthy dinner, and we presented a modest gift to every woman who came!
The event was very successful and everyone had a lot of fun!
Once a in a while we bring together some of Yad Rachel 170 staff members of the from different frameworks we operate across the country, who invest so many hours and energies and powers to fulfil the needs of many hundreds of patients. The staff try to improve as much as possible in helping the patients and respond to their needs. They do so with great dedication and great love. Yesterday, the Center team from all the Central Region gathered at the special evening meeting.
This is one of the ways for us to thank them and express our appreciation to employees for their wonderful work, try to see them as good as they see their patients and respond to some of the needs of their challenging and complex work. At the event they’ve met with playback theatre “Spark” crew. The staff told stories of everyday life at the After School Centers, stories about the challenges they face in their work, stories about children who challenged them, the dilemmas they had while working, and actors presented their stories in front of everyone while they improvise and dramatise the stories as they see and experience them. The experience was very successful and funny and everyone seemed to have really enjoyed. At the end of the evening everyone enjoyed a dinner made by the team leaders.
The staff members of Yad Rachel Afterschool Centers Yahav and Hayovel for children with behavioral difficulties from Bat Yam have recently visited a Nitzanim clinic for children and youth, which is a wing of Abarbanel Mental Health Center. Clinic Director Dr. Kurtzman gave an overview and explanation of the services given in the clinic and Mrs Klein Lakstein, social worker and director of the Early Childhood Unit, explained about the various types of parents and children patients. Then the group had a tour around the place. For us, in Yad Rachel, the enrichment and professional training of the team and collaborating with various community facilities are significant factors in the quality of therapy and care we provide for our children.
One of the goals that we’ve decided to promote this year at Yad Rachel Educational And Therapeutic Afterschool Centers in the Cenral and Southern regions was “Involving the kids” in decision making and various therapeutic activities and processes. As part of this concept, the children were invited private talks prior their “professional committees” were held to make descisions about them. Our purpose was to let them express their opinion, or even participate in determining the content of the various activities during the week in Afterschool Centers. This descision grew on the base of a belief that the child is worty to be relied in and has the forces to choose tobe a relevant partner and to grow up holding positive active position in life.
In our Centers for children with behavioral difficulties in Bat Yam children regulary participate in choosing content and arranging activities for other group members. In the picture, illustrating this, you may see the activity that was held yesterday on the topic “boycotts and violence”.
Another volunteer activity was held at our Aferschool Center in Bat Yam by the Sports Association of Holon. They offered the kids sportive training with attractive equipment and had a soccer match between the Center’s kids and their own children. During the year a number of such meetings are planned to take place.
The children of the Yahav and Hayovel Afterschool Centers, the two Centers we run in Bat Yam, have begun taking part in an art project in cooperation with the Bat Yam Museum. The project brings the children to the Museum once a week, and for an hour and a half they learn about various art-related topics and create artwork on the subject they learned about. At the end of the project, a serious exhibition will take place at the Museum, where the children will present their work to their families and the broad public.
The Yad Rachel Afterschool Center at Bat Yam has received a synthesizer. The team has decided very creatively to use the synthesizer as an additional tool for working with the children. They have begun teaching the kids how to play, and the kids have learned to use it as a new way to calm down when they need to, and just for enjoying the music, too.
At the Bat Ayin Center, the staff chose to apply their musical abilities and teach the children how to play guitar. The parents contributed a symbolic payment, and Yad Rachel funded the rest, and so each child received a guitar. Once a week their counselors give them a guitar playing class.
At the Afterschool Centers, we look for the healthy abilities in children and make an effort to strengthen these abilities and improve their positive experience
In the city of Bat Yam, we run two Afterschool Centers for children with behavioral difficulties, as well as a Parent-Child Center for families with very young children (Paths to Parenthood). This month, an introductory encounter took place between the teams of both frameworks. Each team presented the work of its framework, which led to a joint learning experience. We are expecting collaboration between the different units we are keeping in the city, for the benefit of the families and children. This collaboration is the added value of Yad Rachel’s work in the different projects.