The Family Nest, founded in 1989, is one of Israel’s most unique social women change programs- supporting deprived, hard stricken families, by connecting women volunteers to give back to one another and assist mothers exit the cycle of desperation. Nowadays over 80% of our two year distressed mothers program graduates, volunteer back into the community, and over 20% of the graduate mothers’ choose to volunteer at the Family Nest assisting new mothers grow from within the program. We provide individual one on one support by trained volunteers consisting of weekly home visits, perform group support, perform group activities, bring in professionals to lecture, and perform integrated mother-children activities to continue to build the mothers confidence and children’s safety, while gaining life experiences and a smile.
The Family Nest operates on various levels in supporting the mothers with an integrated element with the children:
- Personal and direct support to the mother: each mother is accompanied by a trained companion (“volunteer supporter”).
- Ongoing Group Outdoor Activities.
- Weekly Women’s club
- Children –Mothers Interaction supports
- Volunteer training workshops/seminars.
The program runs in Ashkelon in the south of Israel. The Family Nest was established in 1989, and is an Israel registered charity with a 46A status, the program is in partnership with Ashkelon Municipality Welfare Department.
The Director of the Nest, is Mrs. Tami Lotteti, a former mother in need, who was in the program 15 years ago, and has been heading growth and consistency of the program, for just under the last ten years.
Two social workers from Ashkelon Welfare Department, are designated at 50% part time position, Hofit an Racheli.
The Board consists currently of 4 women from Ashkelon, all dedicated volunteers in the program.
Sarah Zamir- Chairwoman
Sarah Biber- Vice Chairwoman
Ziona Nagar and Shosh Azizi
The Ashkelon Family Nest –Partners
Ashkelon Municipality, Lion of Judah-Israel, Jewish Women Giving Foundation of Baltimore, Pratt Foundation, The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, JCD UK, MyIsrael, Checkpoint, Mega (Alon Holding’s), Elezra Family Foundation, as well as other anonymous partners, volunteers participation contributions and individual and corporate supports.
Evaluation: The project is considered a success if we are able to sign up 10 new young mothers to the training course of becoming a supporter to other young mothers in the future every year. As well as performing all the planned workshop and maintaining a 90% retention rate of participants of each workshop. An evaluation is performed annually under the guidelines of the social welfare services, by the social workers, under nationwide evaluation forms and criteria- we strive to maintain a positive report as we have in former years – that result in women entering the employment cycle and a decrease in domestic complaints.
Creating long-term social change
Nowadays over 80% of our two year distressed mothers program graduates, volunteer back into the community, and over 20% volunteer at the Family Nest to assist new mothers succeed the program. This creates hundreds of volunteer hours of mothers around the city who are giving back at multiple locations, at the local hospital, food bank projects and many other programs.