The Ahava Village, which provides a safe home for at-risk youth, is located within the Hezbollah advanced rockets range and only 5km (air distance) from strategic facilities, such as refineries and other chemical industrial facilities. In 2006, during the 2nd Lebanon War, children from Ahava had to evacuate to the southern part of Israel due to rocket attacks. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services and the Home Front Command advised Ahava to build safety rooms for each family care unit. The prior safety shelters were located in the basement of each building, and since the alert time in the region is only one minute, there was not sufficient time for everyone to reach the shelters in the event of an attack. The new secure rooms, added to each family care unit, ensure the safety of Ahava’s children under rocket attacks from the north.
Bnai Zion built safe rooms so the children who have come to Ahava seeking a safe place can feel secure regardless of the political climate. The youth who come to Ahava require intensive therapy and care – without safe rooms, these children would have to deal with concerns for their physical safety on top of their struggles with emotional insecurity.
The safe rooms benefit over 250 children who have suffered abuse and neglect, allowing them to safely and securely receive therapy, begin to transcend their traumatic past, maximize their capabilities, and embrace opportunities for their future. These safe rooms will continue to benefit disadvantaged children who come through the residential program for generations to come.
The Ahava Village for Children and Youth has been a trusted partner of Bnai Zion for many years. Ahava provides a safe residential space for children who have been removed from their homes due to parental abuse, violence, abandonment, or neglect. Recently, Bnai Zion worked with the Ahava Village to build an emergency center to help children who have been taken out of their homes during urgent, threatening situations. This center serves as a therapeutic diagnostic center for their first three months, when the children are in a very fragile psychological state. The center also provides pet therapy to foster warm and loving relationships between the children and their animal friends that help them develop functional and positive experiences with others as adults. Bnai Zion also collaborated with the Ahava Village on the construction of a new auditorium, as well as the implementation of the 18-Plus Project to provide support for young alumni who are serving in the IDF or working in civil service and do not have a family to return to.
Fulfilling Our Mission
Children are the key to Israel’s successful future, but without the proper facilities, these disadvantaged children would continue to feel unsafe and insecure and would struggle to assimilate into Israeli society. Bnai Zion helped build them a safer and healthier community that will enable them to move past their traumatic childhoods and realize their potential.