The House of Wheels Association, which assists disabled children develop the social skills required for community integration, organizes a yearly five-day summer activity for the children, filled with attractions and unforgettable experiences, away from home and their parents, spent with their good friends. This fun activity contributes dearly to the children and their families, especially since about 40% of the association trainees come from low socio-economic backgrounds. Their severe physical limitation, along with the economic status, rarely allows these children to go on vacation with their families. This year, the children’s need for social activity is especially important, since many of them belong to high-risk groups for COVID-19 and have been cooped up in their homes, afraid to take part in any activity.
For many of the children, and their families, this COVID-19 time is filled with fears and tensions, they experience severe loneliness, and a deterioration in the sense of self-ability is recognized. Out of concern for their health, many of the children have not yet returned to school, while their family members avoid engaging in social activities as well. The need for vacation for the children, and their families, is tremendous.
The summer activity of House of Wheels did take place this year, adapting the professional program to Welfare Ministry procedures, while strictly following Ministry of Health guidelines. In the weeks leading up to the vacation, the House of Wheels conducted activities that included sleepovers, to prepare the trainees for their summer experience. Thus, with everyone ready, each of the 27 groups from the six House of Wheels branches across the country, embarked on a four-day, three-night, summer vacation titled “Sending COVID-19 on vacation”. The activity took place at Habait HaOrgani, so even trainees at risk, who could not stay overnight, took part in this unique activity in a safe-enjoyable way.