Safe Haven Overnight Camps
Orr Shalom's 20 family group homes care for 190 children who have been removed from their homes by the social welfare services. All these children receive round-the -clock care, supervision and love in their Orr Shalom homes. As part of our care for the children, we try to help create a better relationship between them and their biological families in a planned and supervised way. With this aim, the majority of children return home during Sukkot, Chanukah and Pesach and for three weeks during August. However, for around 50 children who are orphans with no family, or from domestic situations so violent, abusive or dysfunctional that it is impossible for them to go home, we must provide a support environment in which they will continue to receive the extra care that they so desperately need.
Out of this need was borne the Orr Shalom Safe Haven Overnight Camps, which are held during each of the four vacation sessions throughout the year. The Safe Haven is a therapeutic vacation camp that provides a safe, structured and loving environment for these children without a home, as well as a fun, therapeutic, and skill-building camp experience.
Our camp provides a holistic and spirited experience for some of Israel's most severely abused, neglected and vulnerable children, working to heal them from past traumas and boost their self-esteem. The team of staff includes psychologists, counsellors and National Service volunteers, who design a program that will stregthen the children and teens through engaging programming, empowering activities, emotionally healing therapy and discussion sessions, educational trips, and mentoring opportunities.
During the camp the staff from the Family Group Homes comes to visit the children to see how they are doing and spend some time with them. The children are delighted to see them and show them what they have made and accomplished.
We also run a Big Brothers and Sisters Mentor Program where younger campers are paired with older campers who they could lean on throughout the camp session, turning to them for emotional and practical support, organizing camp activities together, and embarking on creative, esteem-boosting projects. The program has made a tremendous impact on the older campers, who rise to the challenge of transforming their behavior in order to become role models for the younger children.
The Safe Haven Camps are entirely funded by our generous supporters, who understand how crucial it is to provide a safe and therapeutic framework during the vacations for Israel's most severely abused, neglected and vulnerable children.