YEDID: The Association for Community Empowerment

Through a national network of Citizen Rights Centers, YEDID empowers low-income Israelis of all ethnic and religious backgrounds to access their rights, break the cycle of poverty, and achieve self-sufficiency. YEDID ("friend" in Hebrew) was founded in 1997 with the mission to promote social and economic justice in Israel. To date, YEDID has given direct assistance to over 290,000 Israelis of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. In addition, we have run hundreds of community empowerment programmes, and have lobbied successfully for public policy change on social issues such as housing, labour, healthcare, and social security. Our approach to creating social change operates on ...
Jan 8, 2016

End of year progress report

Miriam

Miriam a 72 year old woman turned to YEDID's Mobile Center when it was stationed in Carmiel. Miriam a new immigrant from the Ukraine had bought a house in Israel with her son and daughter-in-law in 1994. They had jointly taken out a mortgage together and were given assistance from the housing ministry due to Miriam's status as a new immigrant. In 2012 the son decided he wanted to sell the apartment and had promised Miriam that she would be able to live in the new bigger apartment he would buy for his family. She trustingly allowed him to sell the apartment although Miriam herself received no benefit from the sale and had no rights in the new apartment. Her son then informed her that she was no longer able to live with his family and at the age of seventy she found herself without a home. Miriam found a place to rent for NIS 1700. Her old age pension of NIS 2784 was not enough to cover the rent, her medical and other general expenses. When she approached the housing ministry to apply for a rent assistance grant she was rejected as they claimed she had already used the assistance she was entitled to and had not followed the correct procedure to entitle her to further assistance. Despite her many attempts she was unable to convince the housing ministry of her dire need for assistance, and that she had received no benefit from the sale of the apartment.

When Miriam arrived at the YEDID's Mobile Center she was close to giving up. She felt abandoned by her family and had no one to turn to. Luckily the YEDID Mobile Center took on her case and the center's director Irena Luria contacted the public committee of housing on Miriam's behalf. After more than two years of battling on Miriam's behalf and dealing with the complicated bureaucracy the center was finally successful in helping Miriam to receive a rent subsidy of NIS 975 which was also applied retroactively. The center was successful in assisting Miriam at a time of great need.

Mobile Center Goals

The goal of YEDID's Mobile Citizen Rights and Health Center is to empower and strengthen residents like Miriam living in Israel's socioeconomic and geographic peripheries in the areas of health and social rights. The Center's objectives are to help clients navigate the national health system; to provide preventative medical services; and to supply information about legal rights and social benefits in the area of health care and housing and National Insurance among other rights.

 

Mobile Center in Numbers


From the beginning of October 2015 through the end of December 2015, the Mobile Center provided 178 clients with rights counseling. The most prevalent subjects for which people turned to the center for non-health related issues during this period were matters related to debt and repossessions (29%), problems in accessing benefits and rights from the National Insurance Institute (Social Security) (24%), and issues concerning public housing and mortgages (23%),. Clients served included immigrants and veteran Israelis, Holocaust survivors, Arabs and Jews. 62% of those who turned to us during this reporting period were women.

Plans for the Future


The Mobile Center's plans for the New Year are to focus on day care centers serving the elderly and vulnerable, especially holocaust survivors. We also plan to recruit more volunteers with specific skills such as fluency in Arabic and Russian, and professional experience in relevant fields. 

It's all thanks to YOU


On behalf of YEDID's staff, volunteers, and clients, I thank our supporters for their partnership. The immediate and essential assistance that the center provides to individuals in peripheral towns across the country could never happen without your help. Thank you so much!

Links:

Oct 12, 2015

Progress Report on YEDID's Mobile Center

Joseph Finally Gets his Severance Pay

Joseph, a 68-year-old retiree, turned to YEDID's Mobile Center while it was stationed in Upper Nazareth. Joseph was certain that he was owed NIS 8,600 in severance pay; however, when he contacted his former employer, Joseph was told that the time for demanding severance pay had lapsed, and that there was nothing the employer could do to help Joseph. Distraught, Joseph began to call different insurance companies, to see if his severance pay was being held there. Each insurance company that Joseph called maintained that they had never heard of Joseph, and that they didn't have his money. 

By the time Joseph reached YEDID, he was hopeless. The only documentation he had regarding the severance pay was dated 2002, from a certain insurance company that no longer existed. Mobile Center Director Irena Luria made a few phone calls, and discovered where the accounts of the insurance company that had issued Joseph's document had been moved to. Irena then contacted the insurance company, and discovered that not only did they have Joseph's severance pay, but that it had been collecting interest since 2002 and that it was now worth NIS 22,000. A YEDID volunteer helped Joseph fill out the forms to withdraw the money, and Joseph finally received the money that was rightfully his.

Mobile Center Goals
The goal of YEDID's Mobile Citizen Rights and Health Center is to empower and strengthen residents like Joseph living in Israel's socioeconomic and geographic peripheries in the areas of health and social rights. The Center's objectives are to help clients navigate the national health system; to provide preventative medical services; and to supply information about legal rights and social benefits in the area of health care and other areas (such as housing and National Insurance, to name just two).

Mobile Center in Numbers
From the beginning of May 2015 through the end of September 2015, the Mobile Center provided 234 clients with rights counseling. The most prevalent subjects for which people turned to the center for non-health related issues during this period were matters related to problems in accessing benefits and rights from the National Insurance Institute (Social Security) (29%), debt and repossessions (25%), and issues concerning public housing and mortgages (23%),. Clients served included immigrants and veteran Israelis, Holocaust survivors, Arabs and Jews. 62% of those who turned to us during this reporting period were women.

Plans for the Future
The Mobile Center's plans for the coming months are to increase the number of Health Days we run each month, to recruit more volunteers with specific skills such as fluency in Arabic and Russian, and professional experience in relevant fields.

It's all thanks to YOU
On behalf of YEDID's staff, volunteers, and clients, I thank our supporters for their partnership. The immediate and essential assistance that the center provides to individuals in peripheral towns across the country could never happen without your help. Thank you so much!

Links:

Oct 12, 2015

Progress Report on Vocational Training Course

Now, Ayu Can do Anything! 

Ayu made Aliyah from Ethiopia 8 years ago. She spent two years at an absorption center in Mevaseret; it was during this time that she gave birth to her first child, a beautiful baby girl. After spending several months with her newborn, Ayu found a job as a cleaner, and cleaned houses for half a year. However, Ayu was unhappy as a cleaner. She had finished 12 years of schooling in Ethiopia, and she was looking for more meaningful and challenging employment.

Determined to forge a better life for herself and her daughter, Ayu turned to the social worker at her local community center, asking for help in finding a new, better job. Ayu waited to hear back from the social worker for several long weeks. Finally, the anticipated call came through. The social worker asked Ayu if she had any experience with craft making; when Ayu responded that she sewed traditional Ethiopian clothing and could knit and weave, the social worker excitedly told her about the Megemeria School for Jewelry Making.

Ayu was accepted to the program, and soon began to learn about the exciting craft of jewelry-making. "I was so excited to be accepted to Megemeria. When I first came to Israel, I knew little about the country, I could barely speak Hebrew. Now, I can carry on a full conversation in Hebrew. I get to make beautiful jewelry every day in a supportive, creative environment. I am so proud of myself, and, even better, my daughter is proud of me."

"Now, I can do anything."

Megemeria would not be possible without the generosity of donors like you – every dollar you donated helps Ayu and the 43 other graduates of Megemeria gain the skills, confidence, and knowledge that they need to become self-sufficient workers, who take pride in their creative work and support their families with dignity.

On behalf of YEDID's staff and the students and graduates from Megemeria, I thank our supporters for their partnership. Without help like yours, 44 talented individuals would not have had the chance to embark on the path to a brighter future. Thank you so much!

Links:

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