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"I used to run away from school and caused trouble all the time. But Karen and the rest of the team quickly set me on the right path." - David, age 17

Karen and David's Story*

Karen, a House Mother in one of Orr Shalom's Therapeutic Family Group Homes, reflects on one child's long and difficult journey: "David's parents didn't take care of him. He used to wander the streets until the early hours of the morning. He never went to school, and he didn't have any boundaries. When he arrived at the home he used to walk around with a diaper and a bottle! Aged seven! He wasn't used to school at all. He would hide under the tables and make noises. Then he would run away. I helped wean him from the bottle and the diaper, just like I would with a toddler. With the help of the professional staff and the teachers at school, we built a special educational program for him. He began to learn how to behave at school, what books he needed to take with him, and how to relate to the other children. Within a few months, he went through a dramatic change, and showed great motivation to succeed. He underwent a complete transformation. Today he is 17-years-old and an excellent student - he never gets less than 90 percent! He will finish his studies with a full matriculation and then he'll go into the army. I have no doubt that he'll succeed in whatever path he chooses in life."

In David's own words...

"My name is David and I've lived in an Orr Shalom Therapeutic Family Group Home for the last ten years. My brothers already lived in the home, and I knew how good it was for them. During my first few months at the home, though, I was very difficult. I used to run away from school and caused trouble all the time. But Karen and the rest of the team quickly set me on the right path. I'm soon going to graduate from high school. I've become a top student, which wouldn't have been possible without the help of the private tutor at the home and the National Service volunteer. Next year I'm going to join the army. I could be considered a 'lone soldier' and receive extra support and help, but I've given up on this because I think I've received enough help and now I want to give back in return. When I return to where I grew up and see the other people my age hanging around smoking drugs and not studying, I know that this would have been my fate if I hadn't been lucky enough to be taken in by Orr Shalom."   *Names have been changed to protect identities.