A troubled couple from Haifa provided a very unstable home environment for their children -Reuben, age 10, his younger brother, and two younger sisters. Reuben’s father owned a fruit and vegetable stand in the market which required his presence most of the day and into the evening. His mother was a prostitute who often left the house and the children unattended. The siblings had little supervision, were malnourished, and often missed school.
On the occasions when Reuben was in school, the administration became increasingly concerned with his harsh temper and violent behaviour. The psychologists attributed these outbursts to the situation at home and determined that all the children would be better off in a different setting. All four children were sent to Ahava Village and placed together in a residential family care unit. Reuben was evaluated by psychiatrists who treated him with medication and various therapies. He particularly enjoyed Kung-Fu and excelled in working with animals. The other children also benefitted from counselling and social activities, which gave them greater confidence and taught them appropriate social behaviour. Rafi eventually became an active member of Ahava’s Student Council where his skills as “head of the family” were further developed. The Ahava intervention clearly saved these children from their distressing surroundings and provided them with the skills to lead productive lives.