When our children graduate high school, they need guidance from their parents to help them figure out what comes next. As the young people of our homes graduate, there is quite often no parental or family support. The GRADCO program, provides recent and upcoming graduates the guidance and support to succeed, as they leave our EMUNAH HOMES and enter the next stage of their lives.
The Gradco program, at Emunah’s Ahuzat Sarah Children’s Home was developed in conjunction with Emunah Canada.
Not only does the GRADCO program offer guidance in making important decisions, but it helps create a healthy safe place where these graduates can always go when things go wrong. Thanks to the Gradco program graduates from Achuzat Sara know that they are not alone and they have a place to go back to if they need extra love and support.
Tali came to Emunah Achuzat Sarah after having stayed at an emergency shelter for almost two years. She is the fourth of five siblings and has witnessed the very ugly divorce of her parents when she was 10.
Following the separation she lived partially with each parent, without the certainty of where she would stay them on a permanent basis.
When there was a serious suspicion of Tali being abused and neglected by both of her parents, social services and the courts intervened. It was decided to place her in the emergency shelter, while looking for an adequate solution in an out-of-home placement.
At the age of 15 Tali came to Achuzat Sara and it was clear from the beginning that she had no one else she could count on except our Staff. For a certain period her mother even moved abroad with her new husband, notifying Tali only after her departure. Tali spent all her vacations, Shabbatot and holidays at the Home, even Rosh Hashana and Pesach.
Being aware of her situation, she decided to join the army after graduating from Achuzat Sara, knowing that it would provide her with a safe haven for a few years. Kinneret, her social worker at Achuzat Sara, realized she would need extra support, and enrolled her into a special Program of the army for youth at risk..
In addition, Tali was supposed to spend half a year in another special program (mechina) for youth at risk called to prepare herself for the army. She joined that program late after contracting Corona while staying at her mother's.
Unfortunately, Tali lasted only one week at the program, as she could not cope with its regulations and quit.
Erev Sukkot, Tali contacted Yair, the Director of Achuzat Sarah, for help. She had no place to live and had not eaten for several days.
Yair gave her money for food and a bus pass, contacted Sagit, the Director of communications , who found her a place to stay for a few days at one of Tali's former Achuzat Sarah counselors.
During the following days of , Sagit spent many hours on the phone with army authorities, getting permission for Tali to enroll into the army earlier than planned. She also needed to be accepted into one of the housing programs for lone soldiers early. Usually these programs are available to the lone soldier three months prior to starting the army. In addition Sagit made arrangments for an army social worker to work with her immediately.
Tali has been permitted to start her service in mid-November and has been allocated a place in one of the housing programs for lone soldiers where she is currently staying. She is also supposed to start additional emotional counseling at Achuzat Sara. Although Tali no longer lives at Achuzat Sara our job is not done.
Thanks to Emunah Canada's support of the Achuzat Sara's Gradco program we can still help Tali - there is still hope for Tali but we need YOU please support this vital program.