The roughly 25 African refugee children living with their parents in the hostel just off South Tel Aviv's Rehov Har Zion are doing better than they were in the hostel a few blocks away. "There were drug addicts shooting up in the stairwell over there. The kids were imitating them," says Johannes Bayn, director of the African Refugees Development Center, which runs these and other refugee hostels. "It's safer for them where they are now," he says, noting that junkies don't come around, and that two or three men make sure to sleep there every night to guard against criminals. Of the roughly 10,000 African refugees who've crossed the Egyptian border in the last four years, only a few hundred are children. With their parents, they are apprehended over the border by soldiers and taken to Ketziot prison, where they stay in tents for varying lengths of time, depending on how crowded the prison becomes. Afterward they are dispersed with their parents to Eilat, Arad, kibbutzim, moshavim and, of course, to the "capital" of the country's resident alien population, Tel Aviv. Outside the hostel, the children play with volunteers who come to "home-school" them. The kids have only been here a few months, but they're talking rudimentary Hebrew. "In the past school year, the Tel Aviv Municipality said there was no room in the schools for these kids," says Bayn, "but we've been told there will be at the start of the new school year." Rim, a 16-year-old Eritrean, speaks excellent English, which she learned in school in Khartoum. She's hoping to get into South Tel Aviv's Bialik-Rogosin School, known for integrating the children of African refugees, foreign workers, Palestinian collaborators, Jewish immigrants and veteran Israelis in the same classes. "When Rim was in Ketziot prison with her family, the UN workers depended on her as a translator for the interviews with refugees," says Bayn. "She became a leader there. If she can continue her education, she could become somebody special."