In the Midst of the Global Pandemic

Neve Hanna Children’s Home Updates

March 12, 2020

Please note: Since we received this notification from Antje Naujoks, PR Director at Neve Hanna, more restrictions have been added by the Israeli government.

Regarding the general situation at Neve Hanna:
Last week, when it became clear that Israel would only allow gatherings up to 100 people, we realized that Neve Hanna daycare groups could not join us anymore. We are well over 120 people. This includes the children residing at Neve Hanna and the necessary staff. In general, Neve Hanna organized its staff and equipment wisely, quickly and efficiently. By taking such responsible actions, we received many compliments from the Ministries for Welfare and Education and the Ministry for Health decided that we can stay together, despite the ruling that groups of people could not exceed 10. We received word from the Ministries that we are the only children ́s home in the country, that is fully functioning! In other boarding schools, most of the staff did not show up following the Purim holiday. In Neve Hanna, the contrary – the staff and our volunteers, the 9 young Israeli and the 5 German volunteers are all on our premise.

A few important points:
· No visitors are allowed in Neve Hanna since the early days of March.
· The children could only go out in small groups with staff, to take walks, drive to a nearby forest, simply to change the atmosphere, but since yesterday, nobody besides workers, for absolutely only necessary missions, can leave the premises.
· Everyone entering Neve Hanna must have their temperature taken for a two-hour period.
· Neve Hanna stocked up on supplies. Since our Bakery cannot currently operate, we are using their large storage facilities and refrigerators. We received donations from restaurants and coffee shops that had to close and did not want their inventory to be wasted. Neve Hanna is well equipped to feed more than 120 people daily, even when we must anticipate possible shortages or infrequent deliveries.
· Neve Hanna purchased equipment: suits, masks, gloves, alcohol gel, etc., in order to protect the staff if necessary.
· In addition, we have arranged for certain facilities on our grounds to be suited as isolation stations – just in case.
· Everything at Neve Hanna is strictly following the orders of the Ministry of Health.
· Even though the daycare groups can no longer participate, their particular Neve Hanna workers are monitored. The older staff members, (for example, the nurses) were sent home by order of the leadership. This is for their protection. They practically apologized that they could not be of service during this time, but some of this staff we will be able to call for back-up, to come as needed.

Daily life:
· We have six family groups staying together. It is important to have the same contact persons at all times. Since there are so many changes all around us, we have to maintain stability wherever possible.
· We maintain the daily routine with steady hours for meals. As usual, the children help with the housekeeping, gardening etc. On one hand, to keep them busy and work out some of their youthful energy. The children are contributing. They have been an integral and fruitful part of our communal efforts.
· There are special activities for the children: sports, recreational activities, meditation and relaxing exercises, as well as playful and educational learning.
· We had a special lecture “What is the Coronavirus?” How can we protect ourselves and each other? Why there is so much change all around us and even panic?
· Furthermore, we have arranged a time for personal attention for each child. During this time, having to keep a social distance, which children find hard to comprehend, we try to compensate in a creative way. We have referred to various specialists and arranged to have fixed times to facetime with each child, talk with them, guide and coach them or study together. This individual attention for every child is of high importance.

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