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 as their lives are marred by trauma and tragic circumstances, such as extreme poverty, abandonment, loss, abuse, and violence.
The donation upgrades the Village’s on-site dental health clinic. “Overall it’s a pleasure to attend to the children,” said an orthodontist who performs dental and orthodontia care for the youth at the Village. “Now, the volume and the quality of work will excel.”
Teens can find self-confidence in a smile.
Yemin Orde’s highly successful educational methodology, called the Village Way, places a high value on developing these youngsters’ sense of self-worth and their confidence among their peers.
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.
One of our youth 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 When he arrived at Yemin Orde as a teen, he struggled socially and was withdrawn and introverted.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 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 after years of neglect when he lived in the former Soviet Union. Thanks to Yemin Orde’s upgraded dental clinic, his oral health is greatly improved as well as his overall demeanor, self-esteem, and confidence.
We also found the partnership between the U.S., U.K., and Japan-based team members of Henry Schein and Takara Belmont to be an important example to Yemin Orde’s children of how people from different cultures and different backgrounds join 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 Youth Village first opened its doors to homeless refugee children who arrived in Israel shortly after the Holocaust.
Today’s youth are first-generation Israelis — or the children of first-generation Israelis — who come from countries where anti-Semitism and violence against Jewish people is rising, educational opportunities are scarce, and poverty is overwhelming. These countries include Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union, France, Eastern Europe, and Brazil.
Yemin Orde is open 24/7, 365 days a year, for youth with no other home in Israel. A visit to the Village is always encouraged as it provides a great opportunity to meet Yemin Orde’s outstanding youth–Israel’s next generation of leaders.
You can visit www.yeminorde.org to learn more about the Village.