The 10th of December was a volunteer day for our instructors. Besides the women’s prison and at risk teens we visited a hostel for young Ethiopian women, a home for special needs individuals, at risk youngsters (4-8yrs) and the Ben Shemen Youth Village. One of the goals of this Instructor Volunteer Day was to come full circle-touch all aspects of society. Though the underrepresented and undervalued are the most obvious choices we also wanted to reach those that have not yet been disadvantaged.
Jamie worked with the young Ethiopian women on basic self defense and Aikido. These women are refugees and are living in this home without friends (other than the one’s they have made here) and in some cases without family in Israel. This facility provides them with needed job and educational assistance. As you can see from the photo that had an awesome time with Jamie.
Elizabeth and Susan spent the afternoon with the Ilanot program for youngsters with special needs. Their ages ranged from 7 to 20, their abilities and disabilities varied widely. They each took a group of 10-13 students, and the fun began. They talked about ways to respond to people who fail to respect personal boundaries. Each student let us know in whatever way they were able, to stop, not come closer, not to cross personal boundaries. Some of the students were non-verbal, but their message was unmistakable. They used voices, hands (the universal “stop” signal), practiced making eye contact. The students worked hard, gave their best, and wanted to keep going at the end of the class.
Gabby and Jill spent the afternoon at the Ben Shemen Youth Village, the equivalent of a boarding high school-Gabby worked with 10th grade boys and I (Jill) worked with the 10th grade girls. Our classes were not as challenging as the others, as our groups were neither underrepresented or undervalued, but we had the opportunity to work with kids in the hopes of preventing disadvantage. I worked with the girls on basic self-defense techniques while Gabby beat up on the boys, oops I mean worked with the boys on stick fighting. In both cases the girls and the boys had a lot of fun.