In 2019 the Oranjia house accommodated 10 children plus 3 day care children. Oranjia plays an immense role in the lives of so many of the children cared for by its committed staff and loyal supporters. Children are the most vulnerable members of our society and there is no doubt that Oranjia serves a vital role in our community. Our facility works closely with Jewish Community Services, which is the feeder organisation from whence the children are sent to the home and with United Herzlia Schools. Conditions within the community fluctuate in terms of the number of children needing to leave inadequate environments for the care that Oranjia can provide. This means we may have as few as 7 children cared for by the home and at other times this number can increase to as many as 10 children.
The Oranjia house not only provides a roof over these vulnerable children, but allows them to grow up in a home like environment while providing the therapeutic and developmental care needed. We work closely with the families of our children in the hope that our residents can be re-united with their families. Our main objective has remained the same over the past few years and that is to give these children the best chance of becoming productive members of our community. This is an imperative if we are to minimize the likelihood of them needing to fall back into the care of Jewish Community Services, which in turn increases the burden on our overall community. Most of the children who have passed through Oranjia over the past 30 years have become productive members of society, with only a very small percentage becoming reliant on welfare services after leaving residential care.
Oranjia is blessed to have the most dedicated and committed staff. Their remarkable service has made it possible for the house to achieve the results aspired to and the year despite its challenges has been a success. A special mention must be made for our director, Belinda Slavin. Her dedication to the children of Oranjia go beyond her call of duty.
I would also like to acknowledge my incredible committee. They have been instrumental in marketing Oranjia within the community and their support played an integral role in the successful running of the Oranjia home.
I would like to thank both the UJC and our donors who allow us to provide the necessary services to the children in our care.
In 2019, one of our children wrote matric. She obtained a bachelor’s pass with one distinction. She was to spend part of 2020 in Israel on Shnat, which is a program run by Netzer. This was cut short due to the COVID Pandemic. Children who reach the age of 18 who are unable to return to their families and are not ready for independent living, are allowed to remain at Oranjia. These children are assisted in furthering their education, finding employment or acquiring life skills to make the necessary transition into independent living.
One of our children had to undergo 2 surgeries in 2019. She has had to have extensive physiotherapy, it has not been an easy road to recovery for her, emotionally and physically.
The Children enjoyed celebrating the Chaggim in the house. First night Rosh Hashanah our children went to parents or were hosted by members of the community. Second night Rosh Hashana was celebrated at Oranjia and the table was laid beautifully by the Ladies of the Bat Mitzvah Academy and the meal was sponsored by a member of the community.
- The Yom Tov letter drive
- Donations made in lieu of birthday gifts
- Ongoing clothing drive
- Number of meals per week sponsored by members of the community
Fundraising in 2019 was challenging. In 2018 we held a very successful campaign where we raised a substantial amount of money for our day care centre. We are still hoping that we will be able to open the day care centre in the very near future.
The year ahead will be filled with many challenges. The COVID pandemic has caused economic strain amongst all the welfare organizations. However, I am confident that with our dedicated staff, committee and the support of the community we will have a successful year.
ELEANOR MILLER, PRESIDENT OF ORANJIA CHILD AND YOUTH CENTRE