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#69 – Support After School Activities in the Holy Land

The Situation

Migrants need more support to transition to new countries in order for them to have opportunities to succeed. This is proven in Israel as Migrants coming from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Eastern Europe have now lived there for decades but have not been able to integrate successfully. There are several reasons for this, but most often it is poverty. They often work more than one job; the stress of this often leads to the breakdown of the family and mothers are left to care for children on their own, sometimes with an absent father or disinterested partner. They desire to preserve their cultural heritage and customs at home, while their children must navigate a different culture in school. Students learn Hebrew and are more immersed in Israeli culture and society. The cultural differences between their home and school lives, along with their parents’ inability to speak Hebrew, leave many children confused. They find it difficult to cope or to experience a sense of belonging. This affects their success in both school and society leading to the cycle of poverty.

Sisters’ Response

St. Rachel Center strives to welcome, protect, and integrate migrants, asylum seekers, and their children into the life of the Church and society as a whole. The School Program of the Saint Rachel Center provides academic enrichment and activities to support children in their learning and development with a fun, safe, and enriching environment. The program offers age-appropriate activities and helps migrant children grow and develop physically, socially, psychologically, and spiritually.

Every day the Saint Rachel Center offers to tutor and help with homework lessons and various activities such as cooking/baking, sports, music and dance lessons, games, and arts and crafts. The children are Hebrew-speaking children so their parents are not able nor competent to help with their children’s homework due to the language barrier.

In addition to educational support, the following are essential activities for After School Program:

  • Cooking/baking and eating is an integral part of the activities because it brings the children together by sharing the food they proudly prepare and gives them a sense of accomplishment and teamwork.
  • The After School Program also fosters creativity and the giftedness of the children through arts and crafts. The children can calm down, concentrate, and focus their energy and attention as they work individually or in a team as they are distracted and bombarded in society by social media and virtual games.

Funds Needed


How Will Funds Be Used

The funds will be used to support tutors and two after-school programs for one full year: the Cooking/Baking Program and the Arts & Crafts Program.

Systemic Impact

Saint Rachel Center gives migrant children the opportunity to succeed in difficult times limiting the cycle of poverty so often seen. The center serves 20-30 children daily during the school year and that number doubles during the summer holidays when the Center also provides meals/snacks for the children.

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