What are the essential tasks of the ILAI Fund?
The ILAI Fund is a nonprofit organization that benefits unfortunate children who have special needs and are from families with financial difficulties. The fund mostly helps single mothers and occasionally orphans. Their goal is to help children suffering from various diseases and disabilities including individuals affected by accidents, wars and acts of terrorism. Welfare organizations in different hospitals such as the Center for Children in Schneider Hospital, social workers, and members of special education, from across the country, contact the fund in an organized manner and provide them with all the necessary documents so that they can get to know each case and child with his special needs, the medical condition of child, the economic status of the family, and required treatment and costs. To start the process they hold an introductory meeting with the child. The families can contact 24 hours a day to make sure they feel that they are receiving the best possible care. ILAI Fund is one of the few in Israel that regardless of the type of disease and required treatment still helps the disabled child in addition to assisting in challenges they have to deal with financial difficulties. We are proud to state that at all our events, the staff members of the ILAI Fund work voluntarily and without compensation.
The Fund was born and inspired by their son, to give thanks to G-d that he was born a healthy child. Ilai, 10 years old today, personally knows each child as well as their needs. He is an example of a child with a heart of gold. He sees patients as his own brothers and sisters, as if they are his family. With each hug and smile he gives to the special children he is proving to the world of adults that these brothers are not dangerous or harmful. Ilai sees these children as great heroes and this demonstrates that a good man and good work do not depend on wealth or age. Ilai, a healthy child, works happily with his family and the staff of the organization in recognition of his existence.
How would you summarize the main actions of the ILAI Fund?
The organization provides funds for:
- Physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and psychotherapy.
- Celebrations such as birthday/ Bar / Bat Mitzvahs.
- A wide range of medical aids such as wheelchairs, walkers, lifts, bathrooms, orthopedic shoes, splints, diapers, glasses, hearing aid, special computers etc .
- Financial help and logistical arrangements for transportation to hospitals.
- Nutritional supplements , vitamins and medicines that are not included in the health basket.
- Partial funding for child’s plane ticket for the purpose of analysis and special treatments abroad.
The organization provides funds for private lessons for children with autism and A.B.A. treatments, teachers for children admitted to hospitals, and help for special children in regular classes. This way the children learn skills and knowledge that can provide them with independence and integration in society for future life.
What are the achievements of the fund in the past two years?
Since the establishment of the fund we were able to help about 500 children. Between 2013 and 2014, we have helped 200 children. We have many thank-you letters from the mothers of the children at the ILAI Fund to give evidence of the necessity and importance of the assistance they received. The letters also show the attempt to overcome and win the challenge of a handicapped child, and the mothers say it is indescribable. The funding for tens of hundreds of wheelchairs become a child's legs and gives them the possibility to get to school, the mall, the playground, or any other place they wish to get to. Giving away dozens of hearing aids become ears for hearing impaired children, allowing them to learn and interact with the environment and pose less burden on the family. With the help of the ABA program for Autistic children, the special software helps the children become somewhat independent, extremely calm, happy and wiser. Children with cerebral palsy use special computers to help them speak and hear. This brings endless joy to the child and his family.as a result of all of these things, the children will be able to join in the working force and with success work to the best of their potential!
What is the need for the ILAI Fund?
The government assistance given to a family of a child with physical, mental, or intellectual disabilities are very limited. They deal with endless economic challenges and medical expenses to give the right treatment required for the child. On average, the support received from the authorities are only a third of the current basic expenses of the child. Most of these children of the ILAI Fund, for various reasons, do not have the support of the father and the mother is a single parent and has to provide for the family and meet the challenge of a special child. In many cases there are 2, 3, or more special children in one family. In these cases the mother finds herself out of work due to round the clock care for the child. This causes the mother to loose her source of livelihood and therefore, enters the cycle of unemployment and poverty.More victims are the healthy children in the family who, because of the care the mother gives to the special needs child, do not get the proper care and attention s/he is required from their mother. The need for the project is the direct aid the special child receives which positively and indirectly affects the rest of the brothers and sisters.
What are the main goals of the ILAI Fund?
We can describe our objectives in three words.
“Turning tears into smiles”. We serve as a support system in the never ending needs of a special needs child and as a bridge that allows the purchase of products, equipment, medicines and necessary treatments that are not included in one’s health insurance and are not funded by the government or social security. We work to give a special child an equal opportunity for educational achievements. It is important for us to be a mother’s helping hand and support in sad and difficult situations they struggle with throughout their lives.
We believe in giving hope to the siblings of special children who live with the pain and difficulty of it all. We try to remove them from a melancholy life and make their lives happier and more positive . Our ultimate goal is to practice ‘Love your neighbor like yourself’ and to make the world a better place.
Who uses the ILAI Fund’s services and grants?
We target children with special needs that come from poor families who find it difficult to raise a child who is sick and therefore it puts a strain on their financial life. The fund sends social workers and special education specialists to assist these families of children with different disabilities to give them an answer and economic assistance to overcome the endless expenses of treatments, schooling, education, transportation, medical equipment, etc.