CAMP FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
MY BROTHER’S KEEPER INTERNATIONAL JOINS FORCES WITH SHUTAF IN JERUSALEM
This summer, My Brother’s Keeper International is joining forces with Shutaf Inclusion Programs in Jerusalem to provide a quality, inclusive and affordable 3 week summer camp experience for 150 children and teens with and without disabilities.
Children attending Shutaf’s summer camp come from more than 53 different schools in 30 neighborhoods in the Greater Jerusalem area. Both staff and campers represent the amazing diversity of Israel’s capital-Jew and Arab, religious and secular.“Before Shutaf, no camp program could handle my son’s special needs.” Sharona is a single parent to the adorable and challenging, Shalev. Programs that answer Shalev’s needs are hard to find or non-existent. Shutaf was the answer for them. “The affordable and professionally-run Shutaf programs, with a staff dedicated to answering every child’s needs, saved us”.
Shutaf’s unique, reverse-inclusion model combines children with a diverse range of disabilities (making up 75% of the campers) including ADD, ADHD, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, learning disabilities, and emotional and behavioral challenges, along with a minority group (25%) of children without disabilities.
The need is great! Studies show that children with disabilities are lonely, often lacking the skills needed to develop and maintain friendships. Quality camp programs are limited, and inclusive camps that cater to children with special needs are virtually non-existent. Furthermore, in addition to the challenges of raising a child with a disability, Shutaf families are coping with the effects of poverty, family dysfunction and alienation thus necessitating the need to heavily subsidize camp fees.
Shutaf campers will enjoy a socially safe environment of acceptance and participate in weekly camp activities including art therapy, music and dance, drama, arts and crafts, sports, swimming, animal care, gardening, science and physical sensory activities and field trips. Furthermore, transportation and meals are provided!
As summer quickly approaches and you make plans for your summer vacation or sending your own children to camp, please consider helping us make this summer absolutely magical for children in Jerusalem, Israel.