A village for special people at "Hof Carmel" - Vision and Deeds
An heterogeneous village for adult people with special needs will be established at the Hof Carmel settlements .The village will become there lifetime home.
The village will supply the needs of the local population with special requirements, who require housing, social life, employment and work, within a sheltered environment and contained and embraced by the normative community.
The vision and deeds originate from the intention to create a place within the heart: a place that is built with love ,respect and acceptance, for the sense of belonging, maximum independence and integration of the special–needs people who live within us. The initiative rests on humane and social values, and stems from an outlook that sees special people who live within the Hof Carmel community as an intrinsic part of the local human fabric.
This initiative grows from an immediate need to give an answer to these people in regards to their sense of belonging to the community in which they grew and side by side to their families which live in the area.
The vision's spirit comes from the understanding and knowledge that by creating "a place within the heart" for those who differ from the norm, we create a source of growth for those who give support as much as for those who receive support .This view sees those who materialize the vision as having the luck to be able to take part in a road of giving, learning and growth.
The place will allow special people to receive and to give from themselves to the normative community in various ways: by developing tolerance and acceptance for the different one; by expanding and deepening human values of giving, help to the other and volunteering; by educating the younger generations through voluntary activities in partnership with local area schools; by creating employment opportunities for education, rehabilitation, medical and para-medical professionals.
The size of the future village will be as that of a small village counting about 50 members. At the beginning the village will start in a reduced scale with a small nucleus of members with the intention of growing and developing as time goes.
The village is geared to the special-needs adult population which has an heterogeneous spectrum of difficulties and whose common denominator is the need for sheltered housing, employment according to their limitations and an appropriate social community.
An additional common denominator will be the ability to keep a relative measure of functional independence and social interaction. Rules for acceptance to the village will be developed later on the basis of criteria resting on the policy of the Welfare and Health Ministries (rights of sheltered housing, rehabilitation rights basket, etc.) and according to considerations of professionals and parents involved in the steering and founding committee.
Acceptance to the village is reserved for adults between 18 and 30 years old, residents of the area covered by the Hof Carmel Council.
If required and depending on the number of applications, acceptance may be made available for residents of neighboring communities who shall be interested (Tirat HaCarmel, Zichron Yaakov, Binyamina, Or Akiva, Pardes Hana, Karkoor, Alona settlements etc.)
The village will be become a horizon and source of hope for families with special needs young children. Within the Hof Carmel population there is such a population incorporated within the regular educational frameworks and whose needs will require an appropriate answer as they become older.
The village will be established within the Hof Carmel Council area. The place will be designated for this specific purpose and should serve the village members through their entire lifetime. In the future a nursing home will be established on the same place to serve the village members as they reach pension and old age and will require a nursing place.
On the first stages village members will be incorporated into the services supplied on the village for the members own welfare and independent wellbeing and into the area's factories and settlements production branches which will be willing to take part on this project. Later on unique employment opportunities will be created on the village such as: growth of organic vegetables and spices, a small factory whose production will be marketed outside of the village, a henhouse, etc. Services will include a kitchen and dining room, laundry facilities, a leisure-time club, an animal farm for caring purposes , etc.
The Meirav community center and the Hof Carmel Youth department will be active partners in the village leisure activities .This way the social and cultural needs of the village members will receive an appropriate response in the form of a variety of activities, social interaction with the normative community and the contribution of youngsters acting as leaders and tutors.
The vision has been developed by Esther Gilat, the mother of 18 years old Noy, clinical psychologist from moshav Zerufa.