Youngsters at the mentoring project during Purim in Rishon

ESRA’s new mentoring project in Rishon Lezion, which started in January 2017, has taken off to a great start.

This is a joint project with Rishon Lezion Welfare Department and Aharai, a nonprofit organization. Janet Chait Kiesari, the chairperson of ESRA Rishon Lezion, is also the project-coordinator.

The student mentors who take part in the project each help three pupils. They meet with the group once a week in the afternoon, at a public library or school. The session includes learning and help with homework as well as a social activity, in order to strengthen both the pupils’ self-confidence and social skills.

They provide help and encouragement to children whose families are often unable to lead the way and guide the children to what is right or wrong. Some homes have little food in the refrigerator and abuse of every kind is not unknown. Some are street children.

But now something meaningful has been given to them and the children have a chance of being guided. Already strong bonds have been formed between the mentors and children.

Apart from weekly meetings, all the groups come together once in six weeks for a “happening”.

A Purim party was a really happy occasion. The pupils and their mentors were invited to the PURIMON (celebrating Purim), which was organized by “Shevet Ya’ad”, the Scouts youth movement in Rishon.

This happening was very successful, with lots of interesting physical activities, all performed by the Scouts. It was a pleasure to watch the pupils join in the activities together with their mentors.

Another special event took place on the last day of the Pesach school vacation when 30 children and their mentors were bussed to the local Yes Planet Cinema. Tickets for the movie “Smurfs: The Lost Village” were waiting, along with vouchers for popcorn and drinks.

 One of the famous Smurfs

For some of the children, this was their first visit to the cinema. A private cinema hall was at their disposal and on the massive screen was a photo welcoming the children. It showed the logos of Rishon Lezion Municipality and of ESRA, the two bodies which had set up this program.

Other planned occasions included a visit to an educational music circus, a visit to the beach, a fun day for the children and their families, various handicrafts sessions with the children and an outing to Superland Funfair.

ESRA’s scholarships have greatly aided financing the education of the mentors and your generous donation can help to assure the continuation of this wonderful project for another year.


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About the author

Janet Kiesari

Janet Kiesari grew up in London. After school, she went to a business college and has a certificate in Business Management. She then worked in a property company.

In 1967 she came to live i...

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