By Isabelle Steinkalik (WIZO Belgium)
After each MOR, we return home, thrilled by the WIZO visits that we have been able to make during these few days.
I realized that, instead of trying to boost our team with words, it was more effective to boost them with actions. I dreamed of my Belgian volunteers also feeling this emotion and this euphoria that we experience on returning to our annual meetings. Therefore, I decided to organize a trip to Israel, especially as it was years since the last time a group had gone from Belgium.
Most of our members do visit to Israel themselves. Therefore, it was necessary to organise a different type of trip that would have special appeal. We decided to call it “Israeli reality" because it would be a visit far from tourist sites and the usual routes of those accustomed to Israel.
With the help of Monique Asher (Department fundraising) and Lisa Moss (Department Organization a Tourism) we put in place a WIZO program, which allowed us to visit institutions as varied as possible: Day Care Center, youth villages, a centre for traumatized families at Sderot etc…
We were extremely fortunate that WIZO France joined us in this project. Our francophone group (26 persons) brought together people between 30 and 87 years old! Several non-Jews were with us, and some of them had never been to Israel. With Joelle Lezmi (Chairperson WIZO France) we had the great responsibility, to give these participants, a vision of Israel completely different from that which is shown daily in the Belgian media and French.
On returning home from these few days, rich in emotions, I can say that our dream is achieved. All those who have made this journey with us are transformed by what they have discovered. Today, they know exactly what WIZO achieves every day is a miracle! And they are deeply pleased to be part of this exceptional family. Each person has been differently affected by these events. Some of them have been touched by the kids in the Day Care Center, others by families, young people from disadvantaged families, and me by the young people of the Naale program …
Even in realizing that this project has taken 1 year to bring to fruition. I conclude that it was worth it. Now, the gaze of our volunteers shines almost as much as those who are helped on a daily basis by WIZO. We strongly advise other federations to organize a similar trip. It is beneficial for the volunteers, for all those who are in our institutions, and those who work there.
When are you going?