By Guest Blogger Lior Reicheart, Student and Krembo Wings Adult Coordinator
Hello, I am 26 and this year I am finishing up my undergraduate studies in law and political science, thanks in great part to my Ruderman Family Foundation scholarship.
Last summer, after my third year of college, I heard about Krembo Wings, the only youth movement in the world for children with special needs. During the summer, I was able to participate in the establishment of the movement’s 16th branch in Central Tel Aviv, where I volunteer as an adult coordinator for the program. We are all proud to report that today, after only four months and with the help of the Ruderman Family Foundation, the branch is home to 17 participants and 40 instructors.
What first attracted me to Krembo Wings was its broad circles of social impact. First of all, it gives access to informal social interactions for children with special needs, who tend to spend most of their time either at school or at home; Krembo Wings gives them an opportunity to take part in extracurricular social activities, just like other kids.
I’ve also been able to develop relationships with the members’ families, who dearly appreciate the fact that now they can enjoy several hours of peace and quiet every week, knowing their child is in safe, loving hands. Finally, their activity in Krembo Wings gives our teenage volunteers the opportunity to interact with a special population they would not normally meet – and a chance to practice management, program development, goal setting and teamwork.
But best of all is the fact that Krembo Wings’ activities are shared by children and teenagers with and without special needs – which is going to have a long-term effect on the social integration of people with disabilities and special needs.
Here’s what Noa, the mother of a girl in my branch, says: “I think that more than anything else, Krembo Wings gives me hope that perhaps one day I will not be so worried about the day I will no longer be available for her because there will be other people who will see to it that life will be better and easier for her. For me, this is one of the most magical things about Krembo Wings, the fact that through fun activities, the children feel part of something that belongs just to them, and what the teenage volunteers are learning from them will change the future.”
— Lior Reicheart