Is It Summer Yet?

Is It Summer Yet?

 Children shiver in their warm pajamas as a cold chill finds its way into the home but Dovie yawns, stretches his arms and with an expectant smile, and asks his mother, as he does every morning, “Is it summer yet?”

Dovie is a special child whose cognitive abilities may not be up to par but he certainly has a good understanding of what constitutes fun and good times. And he can hardly wait for Ezer Mizion’s Summer Camp to begin again.

In 1989, Ezer Mizion opened Israel’s first summer camp for children with physical handicaps including brain damage, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, autism, blindness, deafness and emotional disorders.

Today, Ezer Mizion coordinates 3 day camps and 2 overnight camps, called “B’Lev Same’ach,” for children with special needs, the highlight of the entire year for these youngsters.

Each of the B’Lev Sameach camps is staffed by professional administrators and has a nurse and emergency medical technician on premises. In addition, all of the children are paired with individual counselors, who shower them with one-on-one attention, care, and love. This powerful dose of attention and warmth is a balm for the children and ensures that they are lovingly and responsibly cared for. Two full-time volunteers are assigned to children with more challenging disabilities. These volunteers spend 24 hours a day with the children, attending to all of their needs and wishes.

Families of children with special needs also benefit greatly from the B’Lev Sameach summer camps. The highly successful camps operate when other educational frameworks are closed to these children. Caring for physically or mentally challenged children is often very taxing, and parents and siblings are grateful for the respite provided by the B’Lev Sameach camps. The camps allow parents to devote time to their other children and to themselves, making this a period of healing, rejuvenation and renewal for the entire family.

Dovie grins in anticipation but does not understand how fortunate he is. Dovie’s summer camp experience is sponsored by generous contributors to Ezer Mizion. Many of his classmates are envious as Dovie tells over his camp tales. Simply said, there is not enough money to go around and so many children must be left out, losing out on skills gained during the year, losing out on that one to one focused attention and encouragement that is so vital to a special child’s feeling of confidence, losing out on that special glow that says, “Yes, you can!”

For further information call: 718 853 8400


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