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Relief for the AKIM Community in the South

AKIM Israel is leading the way in supporting and caring for persons with intellectual disabilities at Israel’s time of crisis. 67 branches from the south to the north including danger zones are doing their utmost to meet the needs of hundreds of people and families.

As the hostilities continue, we are making sure that no one is left behind- people living in apartments, hostels and at home in their community. AKIM’s team of volunteers and staff are working tirelessly to ensure that everyone receives the care and support they require.

Our emergency plan requiring your support includes:
• Respite and Rest: for 120 people (including families) from regions at risk together with direct care workers, first from Netivot, Be’er Sheva, Ofakim, and Ashkelon. (locations not being evacuated by the State at this time).
• Digital Community Center: online program ensuring that our community remains connected to care workers and engaged. Two programs: one for children with 160 followers, one for adults with over 1,000 total participants.
Funds required for content and presenters.
• Home Visit Brigade: providing emotional support, hands-on care, activity kits, and basic needs for 50 families;
• Take a Tablet: Purchase and distribution of an additional 150 tablets (300 provided to date) for families across the country in order to participate in the Digital Community Center and counter isolation.

While standing with the people we support at their time of need, AKIM continues to serve as the main voice advocating and lobbying for the needs of the community to Municipal and National Government officials.

AKIM-led Coalition Succeeds in Mission to
Improve Salaries of Direct Care Professionals

The coalition in the struggle for better compensation for direct care professionals has come to a successful conclusion with a new agreement that provides a significant increase in salaries.

This is in no small part on account of AKIM and CEO Sigal Peretz Yahalomi who spearheaded the coalition, led the struggle, and was in contact with officials in the finance and welfare ministries around the clock. She never let the detractors stand in her way. Sigal decided months ago that instead of complaining about the staffing crisis, AKIM will tackle it at its source by pursuing improved salaries. She also fought for the recognition of the profession as holding a special status including professional training. The total package of budget additions totals 330 million NIS. A signing ceremony took place yesterday in the presence of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, his deputy Michal Waldiger, Director General of the Ministry of Finance, Shlomi Heisler, Director General of the Ministry of Welfare and Social Security Yinon Aharoni, Head of the Disability Directorate, Rakefet Ben Gai and the CEOs of coalition partners in the struggle.

We thank, on behalf of all Akim employees, volunteers, parents and families and of course, the people themselves, and the driving force CEO Sigal Peretz Yahalomi, who led the struggle with determination and optimism, went all out and most importantly, never lost faith that it was possible to achieve the goal.