Wednesday, August 30

One out of every three Israeli children is poor

, about

The Social Security Institute published its bi-annual report on poverty and things are poor indeed.
TWENTYFIVE % of Israelis are poor and one out of every three children is poor.
There will be headlines for a day or two, and demands for "a clear policy in order to eradicate poverty", then some other item will take over our attention, until the next report, and the next.

The poor don't need the report, they experience poverty daily. And they also know something else, it's not going to end soon. Many were children of poor parents, and their children will probably be poor as well. "That's how it goes". Or is it? Why?

Israel has 4 (or was it three?) ministers without portfolio, but there is no Minister of Welfare, after all in that particular field all is "well".

In Jaffa, poverty means no electiricty and water (or illegal connections, circumventing the meters, which is quite dangerous as it goes).
It means not having enough food (i'm not talking about quality, but about quantity).
It means not buying prescription medicine for your child as you cannot afford it, or it would imply not buying bread for all of the family. It means not having schoolbooks. It means not attending schooltrips, because your parents haven't paid the bills for those for many years now, it means sharing one pair of shoes with another family member, never getting a real present when the holidays arrive, it means never having visited Tel Aviv although you live a 10-minute busride away in a suburb, Jaffa. It means having no glass in your windows, so it gets really cold, drafty and wet inside the house during winter. It means being kicked out of your council housing 3 days after you came home from a cancer operation, stitches still bleeding, sleeping outside, when you come back, sick, from chemotherapyIt means a 18 year old girl leaving school to provide for all her brothers and sisters, as the family has no other income from her underpaid job as a checkout girl, it means a 12 year old child going into prostitution and i can go on and on and on.

ALL details here are based on families i know myself, personally.

"One out of every 3 children" is not a ststistic newspaper heading, to be forgotten tomorrow, it's reality.

And it is a problem that CAN be solved. It's a matter of priorities. But the needs of those who have appear to be stronger than those who don't have, after al, according to the same report, the rich have gotten richer.
No and food parces are NOT than answer, nor is donating your old computer to a kid that has none. It's about deviding resources more equally, about providing real chances, about raising the minimum wage, about no more welfare cuts, about having a minister of welfare!

The image shows the entrance to the main Jaffa office of Municipal Welfare Services and Halamish, the public housing company.
I manipulated the image as an illustration of what i think about the level of service they provide.

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