At an after-school clubhouse in the southern town of Kiryat Malachi, a boy who was raised by his teenage sister since the age of four enters. His mother died and his father left his kids to fend for themselves. This is the story of a 13-year-old boy named Tamasu. Initially, he spoke to no one and refused to communicate with the staff, let alone befriend any of the other kids.
But with the help of a therapy dog and a structured schedule of challenging activities provided by the Afikim organization, Tamasu emerged from his shell. Aside from his social skills, his learning capability also improved to an impressive degree.
Established a decade ago, Afikim provides tutoring. therapy, and love in an effort to help kids like Tamasu enjoy an upbringing consistent with proper parental care while setting him up for a successful future.
He is just one of the many heartbreaking challenges that the Afikim organization encounters on a daily basis.
Based in Jerusalem, the Afikim organization was the brainchild of CEO and Founder Moshe Lefkowitz. Lefkowitz used to work in an organization that provided meals to Israel’s hungry. But he decided to establish Afikim upon realizing that impoverished families need more than just handouts in order to escape poverty. With that in mind, Moshe established the Afikim Family Enrichment Association, which provides disadvantaged children and their parents with the necessary tools to become productive, independent, and successful members of Israeli society.
The initiative offers a path for Israeli kids to escape the cycle of poverty through education.
The organization does this by working with both the children and their families addressing their educational, nutritional, and recreational needs.
The result is kids who were at one point written off by society, graduating college and rising to some of the higher ranks in the IDF.
“None of our kids fail high school because they don’t get their educational needs met,” Lefkowitz said.
The children in Afikim’s programs often come from such broken homes that they need to be taught how to learn, do homework, and even study for tests – all services that the organization provides with a smile.
Understanding that their parents usually cannot afford such services, they are instead required to attend PTA meetings to stay involved in their children’s educational and developmental progress.
This is just one of the many ways this incredible organization helps Israel’s at-risk youth break the hereditary cycle of poverty and rise to become productive members of society.
To learn more about Afikim and how you can get involved, click here.