The Neve Hanna Children’s Home established a support group geared toward teenage girls called “Empowering Teenage Girls” in March 2016, with the aim to give participants a unique opportunity of learning, exploring and growing within a safe and secure framework. The 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 girls have lived at Neve Hanna since they were young and came from families not providing any stable support network.
As teenagers, the 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 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. We want to continue the program during the 2017/2018 school year. The group is guided by a female social worker, a female therapist and a shinshinit (an Israeli volunteer serving one year of social service before being drafted). The group consists of approximately ten girls that will meet with these staff members every forth night for about two hour meetings, including social and bonding acitivities, 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
During these meetings, the girls will explore many more subjects in between lines of these above subjects, including outgoing messages of make-up and dress, taking selfies and the effect of posting them, self-awareness as well as individual-personal and social responsibility.
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 girl to fully engage, which is of utmost importance for these girls who do not have families as support networks when they will have to make their way in life as young adults.
Total annual costs, including equipment and study materials, trip expenses, manpower and guest lectures, amounts to $12,500.