Babies and young children in Israel desperately need your help now! They are the children of asylum seekers, mainly Eritrean Christians. Their mothers work long hours at low-paid cleaning jobs, earning barely enough to feed and clothe their little ones. They cannot afford proper childcare and have to put their children in overcrowded, life-threatening “pirate nurseries”. But with your help those babies and toddlers can be cared for by well-trained, loving staff in clean, safe surroundings.
Rescue them from “baby warehouses”
The “pirate nurseries”, also known as “baby warehouses”, are the only type of childcare that most of these poor Eritrean Christian mothers can afford. Here the infants are “caged” in cots or playpens, and so neglected that they neither cry nor laugh. The nursery staff are untrained and have no idea of what they should be doing. Several babies have died.
Barnabas Fund is supporting a project, run by a remarkable Jewish agency, that provides proper childcare through good quality day care centres, afterschool programmes and home nurseries. The children are given nutritious meals, and the trained staff provide individual attention, developmentally appropriate play, and emotional support.
The staff are non-Israelis, mainly from Africa, and the work provides these women with a decent source of income as well as gaining professional skills through the training they are given.
The parents of these children fled to Israel between 2006 and 2012 to escape terrible persecution in their homeland, Eritrea. Many were trafficked on their way across the Sinai Peninsula.
Projects like the one Barnabas Fund supports are doing their best with limited resources. But so much more is needed.
Help them to help the most vulnerable children and their families
There are an estimated 6,000 children with no legal standing in Israel, and many are still in the “baby warehouses”. Every day that passes more damage is being done to their young bodies and minds.
Will you help more of these little ones to be cared for in loving safe day care centres?
The focus is on families in the greatest distress or danger, mothers on their own, parents with disabilities and families with complex psycho-social problems. By subsidising the costs of childcare (£30 / $38 / €34 per child per week) the children will be safe and well cared for. Individual therapy and counselling will be provided as well as food parcels for the whole family.
This will also give the parents some peace of mind and a feeling of security that their children are protected, fed, and given the best care possible. With the worry of childcare off their minds, parents can focus on dealing with their other problems and improving the whole family situation.
“The staff will be working extra hard in this time before Christmas to look after these Christian children rescued from baby warehouses,” says the Marquess of Reading, Chairman of Barnabas Fund UK, “Your donation will make the world of difference to them all.”