As seven Kassam rockets hit Sderot Monday, WIZO, the women's international Zionist organization, announced that it was already building a fortified day care center in the besieged town.
A donation of $700,000 from the Rapoport family of Switzerland had set the project in motion nearly two years ago, WIZO executive chairperson Tova Ben-Dov told The Jerusalem Post.
"Parents will now be able to go to work with complete peace of mind that their children are safe," she said. "It will be the first day care center in Israel designed to protect children against Kassam rockets."
Ben-Dov said the entire infrastructure, including electricity and water, was designed to give 100 percent protection against the daily attacks that have left many parents and children too scared to leave their homes. The architectural plans were drawn up in cooperation with the Home Front Command, she said.
According to WIZO director Haim Zamorvski, the new center, which will be completed by February 2007, will have 40-centimeter-thick steel walls, a specially reinforced roof and rocket-proof windows.
"We believe this is an important project that will mark 150 years of world WIZO," Ben-Dov said. "I am extremely proud that WIZO is responding without delay to the needs of the people in the community."
She said the new center would be in the Naot Rabin neighborhood of Sderot, which has been one of the most frequently attacked areas.
Ben-Dov said WIZO already runs one day care center in Sderot, adding that the new building would provide services for more than 90 children in three stages of early childhood development.
"This center will allow even more low-income families to carry on with their lives and go to work," she said.