Truly Israeli

The Ofakim School: Empowerment & Inclusion for Handicapped Children

The Ofakim (Horizons) School provides high quality education for 90 severely handicapped children and young adults, age 7-21. The school utilizes the educational standards used by Israel’s Ministry of Education, including passing the matriculation exams and preparing the students for the adult world.

Ofakim’s mission is to educate the students to be autonomous, self-directed adults who voice their opinions and need and take responsibility for their lives. The goal of the School is to equip the students with the tools necessary to be proactive and contributing citizens who are involved in the community according to their individual abilities and preferences. The School’s role is to mediate the process and expose the students to learning opportunities and experiences that lead them to insights and development.

Students with physical disabilities need to strengthen all aspects of their lives – academic, functional and socio-emotional. Thus, the School designs for each student a personal assessment and tailors a program that includes coping with stress and challenges, empowerment and normative behavior. The learning process contributes to strengthening self-image and long-term sense of belonging.

In the functional area, the school provides a significant boost in the health professions: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and hydrotherapy. The students’ families are part of the Ofakim family. Once a month, a parent leadership group meets to discuss the parents’ needs and work to promote cooperation among themselves and with the School.

The Haifa Foundation works closely with the school. With the generous help of our donors in Israel and Canada we have built a new classroom equipped with iPads , touchscreen computers and computers that track eye movements, thus allowing students who cannot use their hands to take advantage of the latest communication technology. We also built a  playground outside the school adding a number of special auxiliary equipment for the students.

 

We are deeply grateful to our donors for their generosity and compassion: Amot Investments Ltd. and its CEO Mr. Avi Mosler, our longtime Canadian friend and supporter, Mr. Neil Shore, the Ziefen family from Israel and the Arieli Foundation.