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We Are Literally Sitting in the Line of Fire!
Jan 4, 2009
Escorting Child – Red Alert Drill
I am writing to you now from ALEH Negev, where we are literally sitting in the line of fire, as we are located between Sderot, Netivot and Ofakim.
I thought you would want to know how we are managing during this very difficult and traumatic situation, and to reassure you that we are all taking every precaution necessary.
Every structure here at ALEH Negev has a built-in protected room, or shelter, and the staff and children have been remaining in close proximity to these shelters at all time. That means that most of the activities are now limited to inside the houses, or even within the rooms themselves.
The dedicated staff, who remain with the children literally 24 hours a day, have been joined by a number of parents and volunteers, who have arrived to offer support and assistance. Despite the seriousness of the situation, there is a tremendous sense of unity and togetherness here, which is wonderful to see. ALEH Negev has also turned host to a number of disabled children from Beer Sheva and the surrounding regions, whose homes do not have any protective shelters; of course, we were only too glad to take them in.
The situation is very hard for the children here, since they don’t understand what is going on. It is impossible to explain to them why they must enter these shelters, why they are not following their usual routines that are so vital to their tranquility… All we can do is just take care of them and offer as much love as possible, and do everything to ensure that they will feel safe and calm.
About an hour ago, Israeli government representatives stopped by for a visit to see how we were managing. Welfare Minister Yitzchak Herzog, along with Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, were astonished to see how well our wonderful staff was holding up. They noted with admiration that this incredibly difficult work was being carried out with so much stamina, care and strength; they also let us know that they would be happy to assist in any way possible.
For my part, I must admit that even I am moved to salute the staff here – their devotion and dedication to their charges is nothing short of remarkable. These are people who have left their own families at home, and come to be with the children of ALEH Negev, who need them so much.
Thanks to all of you for all your encouragement, care and support.
I hope that this difficult time will end soon, and quiet will be speedily restored to this wonderful country,
At Entrance to Sheltered Rooms
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