When the Ramat Hasharon Branch of ESRA re-invented itself in January 2018 under the chairmanship of Herzel Katz, the committee began to look for a local project to support. With the assistance of the Director of Volunteering in the Ramat Hasharon Municipality, Miri bat El, a joint project was established with ENOSH.
ENOSH is a national NGO which provides mental health services for people who have psycho-social disabilities and advocates for their rights.It offers a variety of programs and services with a view to facilitating their independent living, inclusion and acceptance by the communities where they live.
There is a center in Ramat Hasharon which has a ceramic factory where beautiful plates and other items are made and which are sold to the public. The center also functions as a social base operated by a professional team and volunteers.
It is here that our joint project offers those attending the center professional training in digital / computer skills, so vital in today's world. The class helps promote participants' levels of knowledge and ability to use smartphones and tablets, thereby increasing their confidence to use technological skills. Liron Cohen is the Social Coordinator of this center and Michal Glimidi is the Director.
The very successful teacher this year was Yoav Cohen, of whom Liron writes: "Yoav brought with him great professionalism and dedication, a warm, respectful and eye-level attitude as well as creating meaningful and respectful relationships with our service recipients."
As so many found, the past year was very challenging. But for those for whom the center is an integral part of their daily lives this was even more difficult. The corona crisis required them to switch to online activity in order to receive the support they needed. For much of the year, the computer course for the 12 participants was taught weekly on Zoom where they were taught how to use the Zoom app, to open an email and use the personal mailbox. They learned how to navigate the MOVE IT app which allowed them to orient themselves and use public transportation. They were also acquired skills of how to surf sites like YouTube, news sites and news, coordinate a mail meeting and how to use WhatsApp with photo sharing, photo editing, video calling, etc.
Because all these skills are highly relevant to their daily needs, the professional guidance they received helped them use the new knowledge and thus improve their quality of daily life and their integration into community life.
It's not surprising that at the closing ceremony, where each participant received a graduation diploma the following comments were heard:
• "I learned how to get into all sorts of things like email and mail and music, I also had fun learning".
• "I learned to connect to video and use Zoom and listen to music that helps me relax after a day of work".
• "The class was very important and interesting, Yoav is an excellent instructor, tolerant and pleasant, we learned a lot".
ESRA Ramat Hasharon Branch is proud that it is working in a small way to assist ENOSH in providing enabling skills for those in need.