The Israeli FA adopts “YELADIM – Fair Chance for Children”. A non-profit organization that supports children and youth without family backing, which are placed in residential care homes and with foster families.
The Israeli Football Association continues to strengthen its social involvement with the community, and thus decided to support in the forthcoming years the “YELADIM – Fair Chance for Children” Foundation, in order to assist children and youth in risk in Israel.
“Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children”, winner of the President’s Excellence Award, has been supporting children and youngsters during their transition into adolescence. And then further accompanies and assists them so that they can march in their adult lives with their head held up high, and function and contribute to society to the best of their ability. Together with the YELADIM Foundation, the Israeli FA is expected to promote inspiring projects and blissful activities which will provide children in care homes and youngsters without family support with proper values, reinforcement of personal confidence, and enrichment in sports and community topics. The collaboration as a team on the field alongside other life lessons and models, will teach them life skills and prepare them for their future.
In Israel to date, as many as 10,000 children and youth have been taken out of their family homes by social services. Many of these cases involve complex families that are dealing with addiction, severe illnesses, imprisonment, abandonment or orphanood. Many of these children, whom have endured many years of pain, domestic violence, neglect and abuse live in care homes or with foster families across the country. Every year, after graduating from high school, hundreds of these youngsters finish their stay in care facilities and need guidance and support through every aspect of life.The social vision of the Israeli FA is based on promoting social initiatives, supporting populations in need and instilling values that every earnest society will probably agree upon such as: sportsmanship, mutual respect, equality, tolerance, helping each other, uncompromising fight against violence and racism, and advocating coexistence.
This vision goes hand in hand with the essence of the YELADIM foundation, which has been operating for over 33 years to help children, youth and youngsters in need. Also, with the help of the Israeli Football Association, YELADIM aims to promote the development and advancement of top young players and coaches from amongst the care home graduates. This, with the intention of scouting achieved players, or those showing potential, and pairing them with players and coaches that will serve as their mentors and push them forward towards achievements and success. Mr. Oren Hasson, the Israeli FA Chairman said: “the choice to establish a long-term cooperation with the YELADIM – Fair Chance for Children Foundation comes from our association’s deep belief in integrating football, education and society. We found that we related to the values of the program and found many commonalities. I am convinced that the FA will make a big contribution to the YELADIM Foundation, and especially to the thousands of youths in its various programs. This is a privilege that for us already became duty a long time ago”.
Mr. Yaron Brown, the YELADIM Foundation CEO said: “the YELADIM team, with myself heading it, would like to thank the Football Association’s management for the warm endorsement, and the will to partake in such an important and meaningful activity that brings nothing good. We are excited to start promoting together wonderful activities, such as the year-opening event that was recently held for our program’s graduates in the Honors booth at the National Stadium in Ramat Gan. The FA will also assist us in producing Bar and Bat-Mitzva celebrations that will put a smile on yet-another boy or girl’s face. And also, with sport activities for kids, promotion of sports with girls and young women that will provide them with skills for the future, and many other activities that I am sure will have a positive impact on the lives on these youngsters”.
On Thursday, YELADIM held a scholarship-award ceremony at the Ramat Gan National Stadium as part of the cooperation with the Israeli FA. The FA’s CEO, Mr. Rotem Kamer, handed the YELADIM Foundation a modest – a football signed by the Israeli National Team’s squad and a team Jersey. Mr. Kamer addressed the guests: “We, the Israeli Football Association are busy with sports. As you know, we are not always on the winning side of the pitch. But, and this is the most important thing, we always insist on teaching the young men and women in our programs, in our clubs and in our teams that there’s always a chance. We also know that not everyone that is included in our programs will evolve to become a footballer, but we are convinced he or she will become a better person. A person that has values, is motivated, is part of a team, one that knows how to face challenges. All these skills guarantee success both on and off the field. We believe that this alliance increases the chances of all of us to succeed.”
Photo Credit: Ayala Yegalnik.Inset: Mr. Yaron Brown (left), CEO of YELADIM, with Mr. Rotem Kamer, CEO of the Israeli Football Association.