“All that a child needs is one adult that will believe in him”
Rabbi Shlomo Karlebach
Darna - safe home for at-risk youth
Darna was established on the very basic premise that: “All men are created equal”.
Unfortunately, some are born into harsh circumstances leading them to take the wrong path in life. We believe that when provided with the appropriate opportunity, anyone could become self-confident, successful, fulfilled and a contributing member of society. We believe that it is possible to make a real positive change in the lives of at-risk youth and help them to exit the vicious circle of substance abuse, crime, imprisonment and miserable life.
- To turn high-risk youth into empowered individuals who take responsibility over their lives and positively contribute to their community and to the society, by providing each one of them with individual attention and support.
- To establish an outstanding and scalable program to be later duplicated across the country.
In March 2015 we opened an educational rehabilitation residential facility for extreme at-risk youth between the ages 14-18, who are referred by the Ministry of Welfare. our facility is located in ruppin campus, near Netanya.
Most of the youngsters come from low income families and have dropped out of school as a result of under achievement. Other common problems are learning disabilities, behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, self-inflicted injuries, petty theft and more. darna is probably their last chance of rehabilitation before they deteriorate into delinquents and social outcasts.
THE EDUCATIONAL - THERAPEUTIC PROGRAM
Darna's approach is based on the "Positive Criminology" and "Strengths Approach" theories, according to which, behavior can be modified by reinforcing the good in a person and exposing him to positive experiences and kindness, both as recipient and benefactor, while emphasizing his strengths. This approach is contrary to conventional methods focusing on negative/non-normative behavior.
Each youngster receives his own tailor-made rehabilitation program, combining a school vocational/academic program and a personal empowerment program.
The youngsters learn in a SPECIAL EDUCATION SCHOOL THAT OPERATES in the residential facility and participate in a range of enjoyable and challenging activities. Once a week they visit a therapeutic horse riding farm where they learn riding, how to take care of horses and are trained to help special needs children ride. They also go on off-road bicycle rides and wave surfing sessions once a week and go on field trips several times a year. Within the house, they enjoy activity such as carpentry, workshops and participate in therapy groups.
Darna’s combined education and empowerment program provides the youngsters with tools to cope with physical and mental hardship and creates a bond between the individual and his community. They learn to accept and consider the other, to help and be helped. For many of them, this is the first time they experience a sense of accomplishment and success.
We, the leaders, the crew and the volunteers of Darna, do the best we can to provide these "lost" children with what every youngster in Israel deserves: education, experiences, personal empowerment, warmth and love.