There are about 30,000 refugees and asylum seekers living in Israel, in addition to about 8,000 children and youth. They are one of the most vulnerable groups of children in Israel living without a regulated status, excluded from many social services, suffering from discrimination, separation in education, financial distress, and more. They live here in extreme insecurity, with few support networks, leaving the children particularly marginalized from an early age. The children of asylum seekers were born in Israel, they live in Israel and are an integral part of Israeli society - and like any child, they deserve to feel at home.
ASSAF - Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel - is the leading human rights organization in Israel in assisting refugees and asylum seekers. We work to exercise rights and make services accessible to them, assist in dealing with cases of exclusion, segregation and discrimination - and fight the system that enables such cases. We are here to stand by the community and for the children of asylum seekers, to provide humanitarian assistance, emotional support and a listening ear.
In addition, we operate a Youth Club that is open to asylum seekers ages 12-19. At the Club, the youth receive help with homework, a hot and nourishing dinner, and a place to be themselves - in order to give children a supportive and safe environment where they feel loved and valued.
This year we have raised the bar in our work to promote equality in education: we fought discrimination and segregation of children of asylum seekers in several authorities in the country; we petitioned, together with partners, against separation in the education system of Tel Aviv-Yafo; we appealed to the Ministry of Education and the courts against local authorities who refused to place children in their appropriate educational framework. All year, we make it our priority to make sure that children can go to school and kindergarten, near the house, just like everyone else.
The struggle for rights, recognition and status for the children of asylum seekers and the entire community is the struggle for their integration and inclusion in Israeli society - so that they can really feel at home.
Join us in opening our home to refugees and their children in Israel. We can't do it alone, come on in.
Our thanks to:
Ido Karni - Photographer and editor
Orit Binderman Fehr - Screenwriter