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Where Broken Souls are Repaired

 Manof is a youth village located in Acco. My son Daniel drove us there to see what his daughter, our granddaughter Ofri, was doing this year. She decided to spend a year volunteering in an environment far removed from her life as a former star with the Scout movement in a singing and dancing troupe which toured the United States last summer.

Along with 12 other outstanding graduating seniors Ofri was chosen as a special assistant to a group of teenagers, all of whom have a problematic background. With permission from the army she will postpone her service for a year in order to volunteer at the youth village. Manof specializes in teaching these children a full high school curriculum "plus". These 150 children come from all walks of life. They have many personal problems adjusting to school and to society.

Volunteer Ofri at the Youth Village

Ofri, arrived the same week as some of the dogs in the special kennels gave birth to a large number of Labrador puppies. She was there at the birth. She and her friends were introduced to the tasks of caring for the mothers and their newborn puppies even before the students arrived. These pups sell for 5000 shekels each – a price which goes towards financing the many activities at the village. There are also Belgian Shepherd dogs there. They are raised for the police and the army and trained by professional trainers. We visited the kennels to the accompaniment of a great deal of barking and growling. The new mothers protected their young from strangers.

Along with the dogs, there are a large variety of other animals. The village has horses, cows, sheep and goats, all of which need care and grooming. We were impressed with the special masks on the eyes of the horses to protect them from flies. Some of the students will take on the tasks of caring for the animals, receiving instruction from the professionals.

Students also grow vegetables and fruits such as mangos, avocados, and herbs. There is also a beautiful green-house filled with flowering plants cared for by students. 

Horses eyes are masked to protect them from the flies

Who are these children? Where do they come from? These 150 children come from all over Israel. They come from broken homes, unstable family situations and problematic conditions. The school serves as a medication to repair souls.

They are welcomed by Manof into a modern, very beautiful school building with every facility one could wish for. They are housed in well-appointed homes, each child with his/her own space. The children learn a wide variety of professions, trades and skills, each according to his/her own ability and desire. They learn computer skills, such as how to program CNC machines to do metal working. The girls are taught hair-styling, home décor, baking and cooking, among other skills. Ofri's job will be to help these children to adjust, to learn and to develop into the adults they can be. They often return to Manof after their service in the army or as young brides and grooms to visit the place that gave them a new start in life. Manof performs a mitzvah we can all look to with pride. I am very proud of my granddaughter who will contribute a year of her young life to help make it happen. 

General view of the Youth Village at Acco
 

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Thursday, 09 December 2021

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