Poverty Keeps Thousands of Israeli Kids from School

Stand for Israel  |  September 8, 2020

Israeli girl in school who The Fellowship helps out of poverty
Books teach children about difficult subjects like rocket attacks. Ezer Mizion, Special Needs Moadonit (after-school), Netivot. Gaza border. Young girl, blue sweater, reading book

The ongoing pandemic has affected all of us in countless ways – especially children. Many schoolchildren already experienced difficult lives, including living in poverty, and the crisis has only compounded those difficulties as they head back to school. The Fellowship and our faithful friends continue to help Israel’s impoverished children, whose troubles are featured in this piece by The Jerusalem Post’s Hagay Hacohen:

Among the two million pupils who began their school year this week, from kindergarten to high school seniors, every third student faces poverty, Latet said on Thursday…

The study, conducted among 1,200 recipients of aid, found that 36% confessed that their children are skipping meals to help parents survive financially and 26% say their children are sent to school without a packed lunch or a sandwich. Some 69% acknowledge that their children lack basic school books and 75% think they won’t be able to afford all the fees the school requires.

Latet founder and president Gilles Darmon told The Jerusalem Post that this creates a “scissors effect” where one blade is composed of the poverty caused by COVID-19 and the other blade is due to a struggling educational program that demands families to provide computers for their children.

Lacking computers, the children are being cut off from the normative society. “Their chance of gaining work skills and eventually taking part in the workforce is almost zero,” he said. “We are now seeing the making of Israel’s poverty report 15 years down the road.”

“In the US, the federal government spends $68 billion per year on food stamps to ensure food security,” he told the Post. “Here, sadly, children go to school on an empty stomach and nobody is trying to prevent that from happening. This is unimaginable.”

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