The arrival of twins should have been a cause of great joy for the parents of the new babies. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. The little boy seemed perfect, but his sister, Batya, was born with a disability that caused lack of movement in her hands. Rather than giving her the extra attention she clearly needed, her parents doted on her brother instead. The family was further burdened when the father lost his job. Their frustration and dissatisfaction were often taken out on Batya.
Batya attended a regular school where her physical and emotional neglect was becoming increasingly problematic. When she was 10 years old she experienced a severe temper-tantrum at school, after which the school counselor referred her to welfare authorities. The Israel welfare department recognized the signs of neglect and abuse at home and had her removed from that environment and placed at Ahava Village.
Batya was assimilated into a family residence care unit. She was seen by a social worker, psychologist, and orthopedic specialists. The medical experts agreed that despite years of neglect, she would still benefit greatly from surgery to improve the mobility in her hands. The staff at Ahava raised the money to pay for the surgery. At the same time, the residence center’s trained counselors offered Batya a warm and loving home where she would gain self-confidence and develop social skills as well as academic ones.