Teenager Empowerment Program is a project that was developed to help teens who are in need of an intensive communication on a frequent basis to facilitate a supportive framework for dealing with question of growing up. Our program’s goal is to provide the teens with the necessary tools and skills to enable them to live a healthy adult life once they leave Neve Hanna. Within this framework we deal with subjects such as self-image, friendships and partnerships, drugs and addictions, sexuality, social media and privacy. We hold separate groups for girls and boys, dealing partly with different questions. They have regular meetings, where they will explore and discus personal matters in total confidence. On certain subjects, we will have expert lectures and visit projects outside of Neve Hanna.
The Neve Hanna Children’s Home established this support group geared toward teenagers, with the aim to give participants a unique opportunity of learning, exploring and growing within a safe and secure framework. The boys and girls participating in the group, range in age from 15 to 18 years of age and reside at the Neve Hanna Children’s Home. Most of the boys and girls have lived at Neve Hanna since they were young and came from families not providing any stable support network.
As teenagers, the boys and girls are in need of an intensive communication offered on a regular, organized and frequent basis that provide a supportive framework helping them to deal with the question of growing up. We believe the group will provide them with tools, skills and also with qualifications enabling them to live a healthy adult life once they left the children’s home.
The first meeting of the group involved the girls only and occurred during spring 2016 and was very successful. It allowed the girls to open up and exchange in guided dialogue on various issues that affect their lives as teenagers. The initial feedback from the group was positive and validated the importance of such a group for teenage girls at Neve Hanna.
Following the initial positive feedback, Neve Hanna developed a ten-month program that initiated after the summer into the holidays of fall 2016. The group is guided by a social worker, a therapist and a shinshinit (an Israeli volunteer serving one year of social service before being drafted). The group will meet with these staff members every forth night for about two hour meetings, including social and bonding activities, films, trips and guest lectures.
The meetings will address themes such as:
- Self-image and Self-esteem and Self-reflection
- Friendship and Partnership
- How to address problems and how to solve conflicts
- “My Body” and Sexuality
- Alcohol, Drugs and Addiction
- Social Media, Facebook, Selfies and Privacy
The prerequisite of participating in the group is that the discussions will be confidential. The atmosphere of confidentiality and trust will allow the individual participant to be as uninhibited as possible and allow each teen to fully engage, which is of utmost importance for these teens, who do not have families as support networks when they will have to make their way in life as young adults.
The total annual costs including the equipment and study materials, trip expenses, manpower and guest lectures, amounts to $12,500.