Reflections from Sderot

Efrat pictured with 3 of her 4 children. Efrat cares for 96 children and families in the Youth futures program and manages a dedicated team of mentors

When all over Israel families are resting on Shabbat and spending time together, our children here in the Sderot region suffered yet another harsh blow.

While my baby's favorite activity for Shabbat is sitting in in his stroller as I walk him through the lanes of the Moshav, taking in the fresh air, seeing the green of the trees and grass, smelling the sweet flower perfume and listening to the birds singing, this Shabbat had none of this.

Instead, we spent the day in a fortified room with walls of concrete. How much fear, how much pain can a young soul endure?

As my children – the ones at home and the Youth Futures children I mentor - take one step forward, they yet again are cast down the slippery slope.

How many more tools can we have to work with these children with hurt souls?

What more can we ask of the exhausted Youth Futures mentors, young women with families, that had no rest, no happy family time, that couldn’t recharge before coming back to their mission of mentoring the children and families they are entrusted with?

The people of the Sderot region communities are somehow living through a body and soul tormenting existence for over 18 years, it is called "Emergency Routine". What does this term "Emergency Routine" mean? And how can we ever get used to it? What will become of these children? How do we move on?

Why is the world silent?

Many questions. Few answers.

Every day I do my very best to be part of the answer, at home for my children and in the city, thanks to Youth Futures.

We are proud to partner with the Jewish Agency for Israel. Your generosity funds their important work including programs like Youth Futures.

Written by Efrat Yitchaki, Director of Youth Futures, Sderot


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