Volunteering in ALEH Negev

I am an occupational therapy student from Taiwan and this was my first time volunteering in Israel. The reason that I chose to come to ALEH is the belief of all people has the right to live without limits, which is also the core idea of ALEH. For me, it’s very inspiring to see an organization like ALEH Negev, combining education, rehabilitation and residents’ daily life altogether. So I came, not only just knowing there’s a place like ALEH caring for special people, but also involving in the program to fulfill this vision.

“language is not the only way to communicate with the kids”

My main volunteering work in ALEH Negev is taking care of the kids in special education school with the teachers and caregivers. The kids have different activities every day, such as music class, safari class, and art crafts class. During the class I will assist one or two kids to facilitate their performance. At first, I was worried about the language barrier, but soon I found that language is not the only way to communicate with the kids. They could learn how to do certain work by physical guidance; they could feel the happiness by smiling in the face and hugging. I truly enjoyed my time staying with the kids, stabilizing their trunks to maintain posture, bringing their small hands to explore the world and handling their arms to achieve goals. The kids taught me how to recognize their needs without language, how to show patience and kindness, and also how to see the world through their eyes. Actually, I think they even taught me more than I did to them.

Although how eager I hope I could stay with the kids, when the new semester starts, I still need to go back to Taiwan to complete my study. On my last day volunteering in ALEH Negev, the kids and the teachers prepared an unforgettable farewell party for me. They sent me cards with hand prints of the kids, which are now hanging on the wall in my bedroom. These wonderful presents will always remind me of my days in ALEH, which is one of the best moments in my life. Volunteering in ALEH is a journey of love and caring, and I know, I will be back in the future!

Submit your story