The Women’s International Zionist Organisation does it again!
We looked at the special days celebrated around the world during November and realised how proud we are that we do these things all year round. Shelley Trope-Friedman explains what we do all the time!
The 7th to the 13th of November celebrates World Kindness Week. It is there “to highlight good deeds focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us.” It honours those who wish to make society a better place for us all. We celebrate by donating, giving and pledging to build a kinder and more compassionate world. Even the smallest act of kindness can go a long way and we should never pass up an opportunity to help others in need. Our Neve houses of safety and our day care centre is always in need and by giving of donations, we can in turn, create a society where the residents can live a dignified life and eventually become upstanding citizens of Israel. These acts of kindness allow us to connect with WIZO in Israel and build meaningful and ongoing relationships. What we get out of giving and doing not only benefits the receiver but it is good for the giver too! It teaches us to be kind and thoughtful of others.
As we move to the 14th of November, we recognise International Girls Day. The intent is to remind girls not to get bogged down by societal norms, but rather boldly be themselves. The aim is to build confidence in young women so that they can excel in whichever field they would prefer and to help them realise their potential through various guidance programs. This is exactly what our WIZO schools and programs do for them. They offer young girls (and boys) a strong support system and inspiration to chase their dreams. It also gives them the right tools to go out into the world. We give support to these WIZO homes as we know that a good start in life will help mould them for a brighter future.
Also recognised on the 14th of November is World Orphans Day. Millions of young children face difficulties because one or both of their parents are no longer alive. It is important that their education, health, shelter, food and social well-being is taken care of. This is the perfect opportunity for us, well-meaning and socially responsible WIZO supporters, to show that we stand with them, not only in their time of need, but that we continue to support and show compassion by being the back bone of our WIZO houses of safety and projects.
International Men’s Day is on the 19th of November. The purpose of this day is to focus on and raise awareness of men’s mental and physical health, improving gender relations, highlighting male role models and promoting positive expressions of masculinity. The idea behind International Men’s Day is to address these issues and shape positive relationships with men. On this day we also recognise and celebrate the achievement of men and their contribution to society.
World WIZO recently ran a bus advert asking if men wanted to restore control to their life? This bus ad, for WIZO’s Men’s Hotline, offered men an opportunity to stop the cycle of domestic violence. 150 Calls flooded the hotline from men, boys, students and soldiers all reaching out for help and ready for change. This Men’s Hotline, the only service of its kind in Israel, is funded by WIZO. It shows that there is a necessity for this and it is wonderful to see that men are reaching out and asking for help and that our WIZO is there to answer the call.
On the 20th of November we highlight World Children’s Day. The aim of the day is to promote and protect children’s rights thereby improving the welfare of all children. The intention is to nurture and uphold the belief that all children deserve to have the same opportunities. In the case of neglect or being the victims of child abuse, our houses of safety step up to give these children an opportunity for a brighter future as they are the young leaders who are the building blocks of Israeli society.
The 25th of November is noted as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The day raises awareness of violence against women that results in injury, harm or even death. WIZO houses of safety are there to provide the safety net and protection that these women need in order to feel safe and prosper in their future lives. It is a place where shelter, counselling and support is provided to assist those affected by this epidemic of violence. Our homes are there to break the cycle of abuse. A place to say: “We hear you. We believe you. We stand with you.”
We encourage our members and the wider community to become an active part of our incredible WIZO journey. As can be seen from the above, these days and every day are vitally important and relevant to WIZO. Donations made to WIZO are going to places that will empower women and children, amplify their voices and support survivors. How proud we are that we do these things all year round!