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> About Nitzan > Minister of Welfare Visits Rechovot

Minister of Welfare Visits Rechovot

The Nitzan House of Rechovot merited on Thursday, 1.7.2010, to a visit by the Minister of Wefare, Mr. Yitzchak Herzog who honored the Nitzan graduates with his presence and expressed the great importance that he places on the diverse program of services provided at the Nitzan House.

 

The president of Nitzan, Ophra Elul, and branch director, Ms. Irit Yaron welcomed the minister and praised him on his willingness to come, listen, and become familiar with the Nitzan House and its special services that have been developed over the years, including: the treatment center, residential housing program, the adult's club for adults with special needs, and the "Alone and Together" Center.

 

The director of the rehabilitation branch of Bituach Leumi in Rechovot, the director of the Welfare Branch in the municipality, the director of the Disabled Branch of the Welfare Department in Rechovot, and representatives of the Ministry of Welfare and the Rehabilitation Branch also participated. All these are partners and supporters of the special services of residential housing and the "Alone and Together" project at the Nitzan House of Rechovot.

 

The minister expressed great interest in the "Alone and Together" Center, a center that provides counseling, treatment, and training services in the area of social and intimate relationships for people with social and cognitive disabilities. In addition, he heard about the adult's club and residential housing project for adults with learning disabilities, and/or functional and/or adaptive difficulties that exists for 28 years in Nitzan and whose goal is to train this population for independent and social living within the community. The minister, Herzog, was impressed by the diverse program of services that was developed and is provided to adults with special needs, and he especially related to the "Alone and Together" center as a service that comes to represent a revolutionary and important perception in bringing awareness to the general population, about adults with special needs, and possibilities that are available in helping them reach self-satisfaction in their lives.

 

It was very noticeable that Mr. Herzog was especially impressed from the meeting with Nitzan residential graduates, who also receive services at "Alone and Together". The graduates told him about their lives, before they left home to live on their own and before they became familiar with their ability to make relationships. They told about lives of dependency and loneliness and spoke piously about the turn-around they made in their lives from the day they left their homes and from the moment they felt that they're able, like everyone, to make for themselves normal lives, also on the level of relationships and intimacy.

 

The proof for this is three married couples and nine additional couples living in the residential community project which includes 32 residents overall. The minister paid attention with great interest and asked the graduates questions with the honest goal of getting to know the place and its special characteristics.

 

It was very exciting to hear the graduates speak on the feeling of self-satisfaction and finding themselves, on the ability to feel love, relationships, and intimacy. The adults told how they acquired skills and experience to get to know people and even to approach someone of the opposite sex, they learned to communicate with and among people and with a partner, how to argue, how to give personal space, and how to manage a house when single or as a couple.

 

This experience empowered the openness in which two mothers who have children who are graduates of the residential community project and also received services at the "Alone and Together" Center. They spoke with great excitement about the way in which Nitzan residency and the "Alone and Together" center changed their children's lives from one extreme to another, from the level of the contribution to their personal and interpersonal development, the way in which their children were given the opportunity to experience normal and legitimate experiences within a world of suffering and fears in the face of others. They expressed their joy and great satisfaction to see their happy children, satisfied and independent, expressing themselves as people with special needs with rights to an independent life and intimate relationships as any other person; the pleasure to see their children "put together".

 

Ms. Irit Yaron, director of Nitzan Rechovot and the "Alone and Together" center thanked the minister for his visit and willingness to visit, listening, and becoming familiar with the wonderful projects with special people. According to her, this is years of work in action, accompanied by a professional staff, lots of thinking, and a never-ending learning process. This is hard work, delicate and revolutionary issues in social perception.

 

 

From the right: Mrs. Ophra Elul, President of The Nitzan Association; Mr. Yitzchak Herzog, Minister of Welfare; Irit Yaron, Director of Nitzan Rechovot

 

 

Minister of Welfare, Mr. Yitzchak Herzog and Irit Yaron, Director of Nitzan Rechovot