In light of the reality of multiple recent wars in Gaza, the ongoing wave of terror attacks across Israel, and the recent incident of rocket fire on the WIZO "Open House" facility in Sderot, the decision of WIZO's Early Age Division, to produce a new wartime emergency-preparedness procedure, is a wise and necessary one.
The new emergency procedure guidebook deals with basic principles of emergency care, both in general and as they specifically relate to a WIZO daycare center: expected behavior of children during crises, goals of the staff during emergencies, contact with parents, emergency procedure, and much more.
The "kit," produced in collaboration with the Israel Trauma Coalition, is the fruit of the research and experience of both organizations. It was unveiled to 200 WIZO regional directors and staff during eight different conferences in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Sderot. These meetings included presentations and workshops on dealing with emergency situations, with the goal of increasing the knowledge and resilience of the staff.
The Israeli Trauma Coalition's work with WIZO is not new. During Operation Pillar of Defense, it provided psychological support to 28 WIZO daycare centers and 500 workers in the south of Israel. During Operation Protective Edge, 500 parents participated in ITC discussions and meetings and 1,000 WIZO children received therapy workshops in 10 different daycare centers.
Dr. Naomi Moreno, Director of WIZO's Early Age Division finds that the new emergency procedure is professional and inclusive. "The new kit will help WIZO daycare staff members both prepare and react with professionalism, sensitivity and efiiciency,using the great amount of knowledge they've developed and implemented," she remarked.
"Due to the unique and unfortunate fact that Israel finds itself in repeated states of war and hostility, it is vital that WIZO daycare centers be at the front line of psychological and social support for the children it cares for and their families," said Prof. Rivka Lazovsky, Chairperson of World WIZO. "I am proud that WIZO cognizant and adaptive to the world around it and is constantly innovating in order to create the best possible environment for the children of Israel. We will continue to be there for Israeli society, both in bad times and good."