Members of Krembo Wings.
(photo credit: KREMBO WINGS/ARIEL SHRUSTER)
It’s not a coincidence that the Krembo Wings youth movement took its name from the popular Israeli treat with marshmallow in the middle and a chocolate coating.
All Krembos are wrapped by hand because no machine can do it gently enough.
When the organization began in 2002, the first counselors brought a bag of Krembos, which kids with special needs can easily eat. Then it was decided that the youth movement should take the name of the treat because each individual is “wrapped” and dealt with delicately, like the treats, senior vice president Merav Boaz said. The “wings” part came from the organization’s mission to give the kids “wings to fly above their disabilities.”
The disability-inclusive youth movement has been chosen by the United Nations as a special advisor organization, according to a press release. This status recognizes the youth movement as one of the top organizations internationally in integrating children with and without disabilities and was finalized at the end of July.
With this new status as a Special Advisor to the UN, Krembo Wings will be able to present its model and advise other countries with the “blessing” of the UN, Boaz said.
“This is a chance to show UN and the world that we actually create a righteous society by teaching those kids the real meaning of being [an] accepting and inclusive nation,” she said.
The movement has 65 branches throughout the country from Kiryat Shmona in the North to Eilat in the South and sees over 6,000 active members between the ages of seven and 22 weekly, according to a press release. Unlike typical youth movements, it’s open to all communities in Israel, including Druze, Muslims, Christians Bedouins, new immigrants as well as both secular and religious Jews.
“I am proud of the management and professional staff of the movement, and especially the thousands of children and youth whose important work has won respected international recognition,” Krembo Wings’ board chairman Nir Brunstein said.
However, there is still work left to be done.
“I am also very concerned about the 3,000 children and youth with special needs, and their families who are still waiting for the opening of new Krembo Wings branches so they too can join the activities,” he added.
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