End Summer Camp 2007 cc: flicker, By bluviolin
The summer vacation brings us back to a social problem when looking how much money has to be paid to participate. Part of our work in the help center in Hadera includes looking for reductions for the prices of summer camps. This is not a regular problem. It turns into a status, social and gender oriented problem.
The women who participate in the empowerment group do not have the capability to pay the cost of a summer camp from the allowances they receive from the National Insurance. The other option is to stay for two months of vacation at home with the children, and this option also costs. A family who is treated by welfare has a discount on the summer camps costs (the cost of 400 NIS for 3 weeks of summer camp in the community center is relatively inexpensive). But some of the families that we help do not want to be treated by welfare.
Our job, in the Hadera center is to help people to utilize their rights to the fullest, and that is the reason why we try to encourage families to turn to the welfare department, but almost without success. The families who refuse to go to the welfare department do it because of a bad experience in the past, and there also are families who refuse to explain their refusal. One of these women who refuses to go the welfare department came to me last week, hoping to get a reduction in the cost of the summer camp. She told me about another mother, who is treated by the welfare department, who received a significant discount. I tried again to persuade her to go to the welfare department, but without any success.
I can understand the difficulty of the people to turn to the welfare department for help because it bound to the tagging of their social economical situation. I can understand the difficulty of the people to turn to the welfare department for help because the welfare department has almost no funds and no ways of helping these people. But on the other hand I find it difficult to understand why people prefer to go to NGO’s to ask for help, instead of turning to the State’s authorities. I suppose that part of the explanation is that we do not remember the main principle in Genesis 1:27 “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” As a society we also do not remember the principle of our “Human Dignity and Liberty Law” (that in my eyes is derived from Genesis): 1.) To maintain life, body and dignity, 2) The life, body and dignity must not been hurt. The consequence that women and other people whose dignity is not maintained even prefer to give up the little rights they have according the law.
The State does not consider the people who need help but do not ask for it. There is a need for thinking and for a broader policy on the part of the welfare authorities in order to help those who are left out of the summer camp.