ICEJ Donates Computers for Remote Learning During Corona

By: Laurina Driesse

All of our lives have been disrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic, including a whole generation of children forced to learn remotely from home. But for many disadvantaged families in Israel, this disruption was felt even more when schools closed during nationwide lockdowns. Since their parents could not afford computers at home, many children suddenly found themselves falling behind classmates who could continue their studies online.

In response, Israel’s education ministry launched the “Computer for Every Child” project to ensure all children had access to a computer at home. However, each municipality had to contribute towards purchasing computers for disadvantaged families in their town, with each family asked to make a modest contribution as well.

During the summer break, the city of Ma’ale Adumim identified 75 families who qualify for the program. Many are immigrant or single-parent households who generally find it difficult to pay even for schoolbooks and after-school activities. In addition, the town budget is already stretched by the many challenges of Corona. When the mayor’s office approached the Christian Embassy for help, we quickly agreed to purchase computers for 69 families.

Nicole Yoder, ICEJ Vice President for Aid and Aliyah, presented the computers to several students and their families at a recent ceremony hosted by Mayor Benny Kashriel. The mayor thanked the ICEJ and our donors worldwide for extending a hand of friendship in this time of difficulty, by not only giving these computers but also providing hot meals to many elderly residents in Ma’ale Adumim over recent months.

Each family receiving a computer also will receive an internet connection, have a technician install the computer, and get basic instructions on how to use it. As classes resume this fall, a whole new world of opportunity is within reach.

Meantime, many older Israeli students are in need of computers for remote learning in order to pursue university studies. Devorah, an English teacher at the Hebrew University preparatory program noticed several of her Ethiopian Jewish students were unable to participate in online lectures, as they did not have computers at home. This was hindering these bright young students who were aspiring to earn university degrees and start professional careers.

It happened that Devorah had fond memories of working with the ICEJ at a previous job, which prompted her to come back to us for help. Our AID team quickly committed to providing computers for three of her students in need. ICEJ AID director Nicole Yoder recently had an amazing encounter with these young ladies, who shared about their dreams and family backgrounds. Nicole also had the chance to explain why Christians love the Jewish people.

Eden always knew her future was in the medical field, and although there is a long road ahead in studying dentistry, she is not dismayed. Nicole discovered that her grandmother made Aliyah last year on a flight sponsored by ICEJ. Eden met her grandmother for the first time that day and is very grateful for that moment and for her laptop.

Meital is the fifth of ten children. She is still deciding between a degree in mechanical or chemical engineering. She will earn a degree as part of her military service, then serve in the IDF for six years using her expertise to benefit the country, while gaining practical experience for a future job.

Rachel recently gained practical training in a psychiatric hospital, which anchored her decision to pursue nursing as a profession. She also realised the importance of listening to people in her care. Her family made Aliyah from Ethiopia in 1998, but they still are waiting for her uncle to arrive in Israel. Chances are he will come on an ICEJ-sponsored flight.

“It was such a joy to meet these dedicated students, to hear their dreams, and to do something towards helping them realise those dreams”, Nicole remarked afterwards. “Proper assistance given at the right time can make all the difference!”

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