Youth Village students at the Park HaMaayanot entrance, ready for some water fun.
(photo credit: YOAV DEVIR KKL-JNF)
“It’s extremely important for the children to spend time in nature,” said Oren Vazana, Director of the Carmiel Children’s Village. “It’s an opportunity for them to break their routine, participate in meaningful activities during their vacations, and to unify the children and the staff.”
The Carmiel Children’s Village, which was established in 1978, is adorned with greenery and surrounded by the magnificent scenery of the Beit Hakerem valley. The village buildings, with their red shingle roofs, spacious lawns and well-cared for gardens, have a pastoral atmosphere. Over 200 children and youth ages 5-18 from all over Israel are enrolled here.
The Horfish children’s village, which was established in 1998, provides children at risk with a home and a supportive atmosphere. This is the only framework of its kind for Druze children in Israel or abroad.
The goal of the villages is to create a family and homey atmosphere that provides a temporary alternative to the nuclear family so important for their development. The village counselors work to help the children develop a positive self-image and to narrow educational, cultural and social gaps.
The Carmiel Children’s Village outing began in Park Emek HaMaayanot (Springs Valley). Together with KKL-JNF guides, they were impressed by the beautiful scenery, the fascinating explanations and of course the plentiful and flowing water.
This was the first of a series of activities in an experiential annual program that the children from Carmiel and Horfish are participating in, thanks to the support of KKL Switzerland. The program includes outings, activities with KKL-JNF counselors, forest visits, fun days at KKL-JNF Field and Forest Centers, and hikes in nature.
At the end of the outing, the village children expressed their heartfelt gratitude to KKL-JNF’s friends in Switzerland, who had made the fun-filled day possible. “That good people in another country decide to contribute for our benefit even though they never met us is not something that is obvious,” said Daniel Cohen. “They really put a smile on our faces today.” Read more, see photos of the fun day outing for youth at risk