The War’s Impact on the Children
David (name has been changed) a tall, brown eyed 14-year-old boy who lives in the EMUNAH Neve Landy Children’s Village for Boys in the southern town of Even Shmuel, was visiting his mother’s family in Sderot the fateful weekend of October 7. Thank God, none of them were hurt during the attacks! David is one of 9 siblings. Unfortunately, he and many of his siblings had suffered significant physical and mental abuse during early childhood at the hands of his mentally ill and alcoholic father (who is now in an Israeli prison). Four years ago, after spending a year in a children’s psychiatric hospital, David was placed in the EMUNAH Neve Landy Children’s Home. His progress was excellent and he was no longer experiencing anxiety attacks, violent outbursts, or displaying self-destructive behaviors; he was making outstanding progress.
David returned to Neve Landy October 8, the day after the rampage began and war was declared. Unfortunately, he along with most of the other children at the Home, have regressed due to the situation. David has gone back to suffering from anxiety attacks, nightmares, and flashbacks triggered by the sheer terror he experienced that Shabbat morning, and has started wetting his bed at night, something he did not do, even at the worst point in his traumatic childhood.
The staff and counselors at EMUNAH have begun emergency counseling and specialized intervention therapies to help David and the other children process and heal from these traumatic experiences. It is hoped that the use of Immediate intervention protocols will help prevent the onset of PTSD and other psychological issues in the aftermath of this harrowing experience.
When asked by an EMUNAH social worker what occurred on that morning David relayed in a shaky, nervous voice that he saw the terrorists from his bedroom window and the shooting of people in the streets. “It was like watching a movie. I tried not to watch but I froze and couldn’t take my eyes away. They even shot the neighbour’s dog”.
EMUNAH’s Role in Healing and Rebuilding the Israeli People
As a strategic partner with the social services and welfare departments of Israel, EMUNAH’s role in providing direct services and counseling to the broader Israeli community will continue to be called upon and utilized in the weeks and months ahead. EMUNAH’s specialized trauma and grief counselors and therapists will provide the necessary tools and support to aid the people of Israel in mending their broken hearts and rebuilding their shattered lives.
How You Can Help
EMUNAH’s invaluable work is made possible by the support of our friends and members the world over. You Are Our Partners and have helped us to serve thousands of disadvantaged and at-risk children and families in the Holy Land.