Aug 21, 2015  By Jewish National Fund  Category: Special Needs,

Deep gratitude for outings that bring domestic-violence victims into nature

Photo: Haifa Women's Crisis Shelter

Earlier this month, we shared the story of a program called Mother Nature, operated by our partner LOTEM - Making Nature Accessible, that makes it possible for women and children who've been victims of domestic abuse to enjoy healing outings in nature. Below, we share an emotional testimony to the uniqueness and importance of this program, which has recently been threatened due to funding cuts. While a generous anonymous JNF donor stepped in to help the program survive, it still is in need of help, as each outing costs $2,500 and LOTEM's goal is to take residents of different shelters out four times per year. Learn more here


Shalom, 

We just returned from a fantastic nature outing that your wonderful guide Tali led. The outing succeeded to engage the children and mothers of the shelter who are all ages, colors, and background! 


The children splashed their feet in the Ami Spring and on the Emek HaShalom Ecological Farm, they drew water from the well, pressed grapes and made mosaic artwork. Despite the heat that we were nervous about, the activities were in the shade and there was such a pleasant atmosphere. The mothers and children enjoyed it very much. 


We want to emphasize that the outings with you are always successful. They include a short accessible hike (for us this is important for the mothers with strollers for their babies) as well as an educational component that incorporates hands-on activities and models.

Time spent outside the shelter in nature provides the women and children with respite from their daily stresses, pleasure from the simple things that nature provides and tranquility. 


We hope for continued partnership in the future. 


Have a shana tova. 


Orna and Rachel, Haifa Women's Crisis Shelter



Photo: Haifa Women's Crisis Shelter 
Learning how to work an ancient well. 

Photo: Haifa Women's Crisis Shelter
Stomping grapes into wine.