With approximately 450,000 children identified as “at-risk” in Israel and more than one million children living below the poverty line, there is a severe need for medical and dental care for Israel’s fragile youth.
In this blog, Karen Sallerson, who works with Yemin Orde Youth Village, describes the organization’s work to care for and instill confidence in these adolescents, starting with a smile.
At Yemin Orde Youth Village, 430 at-risk teens live and attend high school.
Most of the fragile youth at Yemin Orde have had either very little or no previous dental care. Their lives are marred by trauma and tragic circumstances, such as extreme poverty, abandonment, loss, abuse, and violence.
Yemin Orde Youth Village first opened its doors to homeless refugee children who arrived in Israel shortly after the Holocaust. Today, Yemin Orde is open 24/7, 365 days a year, for youth with no other home in Israel.
We are here to provide care, mentorship, education, and safety for our youth.
The donation upgraded the Youth Village’s on-site dental health clinic. “Overall, it’s a pleasure to attend to the children,” said an orthodontist at the Youth Village. “Now, the volume and the quality of work will excel.”
Yemin Orde has a highly successful educational methodology called “The Village Way.”
It places a high value on developing students’ sense of self-worth and their confidence among peers.
To that end, we see the results of proper oral treatment go far beyond the physical health of our youth. It is linked to their psychological health — the self-confidence to smile, speak, and fully participate in the social life of the Village.
Teens find self-confidence in a smile.
One of our students was born in Ethiopia and moved to Israel when he was seven years old. His family did not have the financial means to provide dental care. When he arrived at Yemin Orde as a teen, he struggled socially and was withdrawn and introverted. The Village provided him with regular dental exams and lessons in oral hygiene. Today, he is a confident student with many friends and a bright smile.
Another student moved to Israel from Azerbaijan when he was 14 years old. He is a good and serious student and helpful to the other children at the Village. Yet, he is self-conscious about the condition of his teeth. He neglected his oral hygiene for years while he lived in the former Soviet Union. With help from the dental team and upgraded clinic, his oral health greatly improved. So did his overall demeanor, self-esteem, and confidence.
Meanwhile, the partnership between the U.S., U.K., and Japan-based team members of Henry Schein and Takara Belmont has set an example for Yemin Orde’s children. It is important for them to see people from different cultures and backgrounds joining together to help others.
“We are grateful to everyone involved in making this generous contribution to the health and well-being of the youth at Yemin Orde,” said the director of Yemin Orde Youth Village, Shmuli Bing.
Yemin Orde’s youth are first-generation Israelis or the children of first-generation Israelis.
They come from countries where anti-Semitism and violence against Jewish people is rising, educational opportunities are scarce, and poverty is overwhelming. Countries like Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union, France, Eastern Europe, and Brazil.
We invite anyone to visit the Youth Village and meet Yemin Orde’s outstanding youth. They are Israel’s next generation of leaders.
Visit www.yeminorde.org to learn more about the Yemin Orde Youth Village.
Written by Karen Sallerson, Executive Director, Friends of Yemin Orde
Henry Schein and Takara Belmont supported Yemin Orde Youth Village with a donation of state-of-the-art dental and x-ray equipment. Learn more about this donation here.
This post was originally published in May, 2017. It has since been updated for formatting, clarity, and accuracy.
Enjoyed this blog? Read more heart-warming Henry Schein Cares stories!