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ESRA drummed up this event for teen girls because they're worth it

What do the drums say? Chen Zimbalista leads the drumming workshop for girls at risk.

A unique percussion and drumming workshop led by internationally acclaimed percussionist, Chen Zimbalista, sealed the fun-filled 2012 summer program at the Netanya Bayit Cham (Warm House) for teenage girls at risk. In her letter of thanks to ESRA, which funded this activity, Yafa Cohen, the director of Netanya Welfare Department, girls at risk division, wrote: "We would like to thank ESRA and express deep appreciation for affording the girls an extra special experience that was not only fun, but also a cultural event that exposed them to new musical instruments and music. The girls were fascinated by the exciting blend of pulses and beats which Chen cajoled from his instruments with lightening quick hands and they enjoyed participating with him, playing on the different instruments he brought with him. They were encouraged to express their individuality and also learnt that through cooperation, their individual selves can create harmonious music. Even the most introverted girls were drawn out of their shells and the workshop ended with a taste for more."

From the heights of summer 2012, the Bayit Cham embarked on the academic year with a seriously diminished budget following the cessation of the major source of funding. This meant the staff had to think out of the box and to seek other sources of funding activities in order to fulfill their aims for the year 2013.

In the words of Naomi Shemer's song, "there are many good people in the middle of the road, very good people with whom we can walk…"

ESRA's volunteer tutors provided tutoring in English three times a week, and over the year they succeeded in raising the motivation of the girls to learn English as well as increasing their enjoyment of it. Some of the girls even reached excellence in their school marks.

For the coming year, Bayit Cham staff have asked ESRA to add math tutoring as well. ESRA is looking for female math teachers who are willing to give a bit of their time and make a BIG difference.

Assistance with general homework was given by two Sherut Leumi (Maccabi Haza'ir) volunteers twice a week. In fact, the "shinshiniot" as they are called, developed very close relationships with the girls and served as important role models.

Even without the regular budget for the purpose, Purim 2013 was celebrated with a fun karaoke party, donated by Mario Tamam, an employer of Ma'adanei Avi, Netanya, the caterers that provide the wonderfully tasty and nutritious hot lunches at the Bayit which are funded by ESRA. It is food for the body and soul provided by caterers with a big heart.

The volunteer spirit continued to make itself felt in the Bayit in the form of a huge donation of brand new and stylish clothes given by the Tamnoon and Hanes S.wear fashion companies. Two bazaars were held at Bayit Cham where the girls could buy these new clothes for themselves at token prices. With the monies raised from the sales, the girls chose to go to a movie.

Every year the social workers of Bayit Cham choose a main long-term activity, which provides the girls opportunities for personal growth and empowerment. This year's activity was a two part 22-week workshop led by Si Heiman, singer and musician, entitled "To be a teenage girl - empowerment of girls through music". At the meetings the girls talked about themselves and their aspirations, doubts and difficulties. Through the use of songs, singing, voice development, guided imagery, writing and choreography, Ms Heiman worked on increasing their self-confidence and belief in themselves as well as increasing discipline and group cooperation. A concert was prepared and presented to mothers and representatives of the funding organization on family day. One of the girls sang part of a song in Amharic. On another occasion they appeared at the city hall before the mayor of Netanya.

The second part of the workshop involved the girls going to a recording studio to prepare a clip and a disc, which was presented to them by Ms Heiman together with a souvenir T-shirt, at the end-of-year party. The girls expressed great satisfaction with the workshop. They said that the process had led to increased confidence and motivation to succeed. "I was ashamed to sing before the workshop but not anymore. Now I feel I can express my feelings by singing," said one of the girls. 

Beauty gifts: Some of the items given to the girls on “Princess for a Day”

This project was jointly funded by the Netanya Welfare Department; the mayor's advisor on status of women, Netanya's Cultural Center, the Association of Community Centers, and Cellcom.

"Princess for a Day", a fabulous day of beauty and skin care for girls and their mothers closed the academic year for the three Warm Houses in Netanya on a real high. It took place on June 30, within the framework of L'Oreal Paris Citizen Day. This is a global day that gives expression to the company's belief that "we all have a role to play" and their commitment to social responsibility and involvement. The cosmetics and beauty company encourages personnel throughout the world to use that day to become key players in voluntary action to help organizations that have expressed a particular need.

The all-day happening took place at the Kiryat Nordau facility. The company set up several stations where the girls were perfumed and pampered with facials, make-up, manicures and hairdos. Each participant also received a lovely cosmetic bag including a moisturizer, a bottle of body cream, a packet of cleansing wipes, mineral deodorant, lipstick, eyeliner and mascara. The girls and mothers went home with a song in their hearts, a smile on their faces, looking and feeling beautiful. Well done to L'Oreal Paris! 



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Tuesday, 06 December 2022

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