Israeli innovative social justice wins Zero Project foundation award

Three innovative JDC, Enosh, projects were handpicked and will soon be implemented around the world, aiding sexual abuse victims and those in need.

March 1, 2019 10:37
2 minute read.
Israeli innovative social justice wins Zero Project foundation award

Zero Project foundation award given to Mimi Palachi [Center L] state supervisor for special education at the Ministry of Education and Yifat Klein [Center R] head of special need youth education program at Joint Ashalim. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Three innovative projects by JDC and Enosh – the Israeli Mental Health Association won the Zero Project foundation award during the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) held in Vienna in early February. 

Bringing together 600 people from 60 countries, the CRPD is a global forum in which innovative solutions to the needs of people with disabilities can be presented to government and NGO policy-makers and allow these ideas to become life-saving solutions for those in need around the planet.

JDC and Enosh projects were selected for this mass-scale implementation.

The projects include a new model to help those who suffered sexual abuse, a new system with which to provide people with disabilities with funding and a drive to engage youth with disabilities to engage in community service.

Created by Enosh, the Supporting Housing program is aimed at helping women dealing with sexual trauma and psychosocial disabilities. Named “Seeds of Wellness,” the model offers victims of abuse a place to live, daily visits from health care professionals and gives each woman her own personal space while creating a shared space in the apartment for interaction and group meetings. The program had been successful at preventing recurring self-harm and rehospitalization. Two more such apartments will open in 2019, one of which is designed for men who suffered from these issues.

Volunteering for Change is a program created by JDC with the Education Ministry, the Social Services Ministry and the NGO Israel Elwyn focusing on encouraging youth with disabilities to offer help to others, such as the elderly, by volunteering in various programs across the country.

The third program is a person-centered approach to budgeting that caters to the needs of individuals with disabilities by matching him or her with a mentor. The mentor, who has a good grasp of what the person needs and doesn’t need, can help navigate the various institutions like health care and social care to ensure optimal usage of services. This saves the state money and time while also ensuring real needs get quick responses.

Israel recently made minor history in the cultural representation of people with disabilities with the television series On the Spectrum.

The show focuses on the lives of young people on the autistic spectrum who live together in an apartment, not unlike the model Seeds of Wellness uses. The show was the first Israeli television series accepted to the Tribeca Film Festival and won several awards.


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