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Visitors praise Neve WIZO

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The Johannesburg treasurer of the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO), Maxine Laffer, last month spent time in Israel visiting Neve WIZO, one of WIZO South Africa’s projects. She was accompanied by Steven Swart, the South African member of parliament for the African Christian Democratic Party, his wife Louise, and their daughter, Siobhan.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | Nov 21, 2019

Said Laffer, “I was excited to be given the opportunity to visit Neve WIZO, a WIZO South Africa project in Herzlia. It was a special experience. The children are well-adjusted and happy. I take my hat off to the ‘parents’ of these youngsters, the social workers, and everyone involved in this special project. They turn so many lives around. On a personal note, I want to say how lucky we are to have such good friends as the Swarts, whose undying love for Israel and WIZO isn’t taken for granted. They are true Zionists.”

Said Louise, “What a wonderful trip for Steven, Siobhan, and I to visit Neve WIZO, an incredible project that provides loving homes for children from broken or dysfunctional homes. We visited two of the five homes today which each have up to eight children with loving parents. It was pure joy for us to visit our South African WIZO family today. Thank you Avital Blumethal and Janine Gelley for today. Our hearts are thankful to see what you are doing.”

The children of Neve WIZO wrote the following letter, “We, the children of Neve WIZO are thankful and grateful to you for finding the time to visit us and hear about our lives here at the family home. We would like to share with you some of our day to day routine. This place has become our safe place with the couple of great parents who are always here for us and for everything we need.

“Everyone has a secure corner here. We’re getting warmth and attention, and all the things we couldn’t and wouldn’t get in our former homes. Our clothes are always clean. We get good, healthy, fresh food every day, a warm clean bed, and a personal corner to call our own. There is always someone here to listen to us, share our problems, offer help, and a kind word. We also have private lessons to support school studies, extra curriculum activities of our choice, and fun experiences with all the people at Neve WIZO. We would like to tell you about the significant relationships that have been formed between us kids. It’s a lifelong true friendship like the bond between brother and sister. It’s something we’ll take with us for the rest of our lives. We couldn’t have asked or dreamed of a better place to be.”

We were fortunate to host Eden Ben Shitrit as our guest speaker for the Rebecca Sieff Awards in Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Johannesburg. Eden is one of the many success stories of Neve WIZO. She served in the Israel Defense Forces, and is currently studying at university with the aim of specialising in veterinary science.

We invite all WIZO members to join us at our upcoming 100th World WIZO anniversary conference. Come see our wonderful projects firsthand, including Neve WIZO. Contact Hayley, 011 645 2513, for details.

We wish the youth movements with whom WIZO is affiliated happy camping, and everyone happy holidays and a chag Chanukah sameach. May our beloved Israel have peace, quiet, and the freedom from fear and war.

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