35 Arab women undergo training for work in Care in Hillel Yaffe hospital

Thirty-five Arab women from Israel’s Wadi Ara region have begun a training course in caring for the elderly and mentally frail. The course, which began on July 9, was made...

Geriatric Care course, July 9th, Hillel Yaffe Hospital

Thirty-five Arab women from Israel’s Wadi Ara region have begun a training course in caring for the elderly and mentally frail. The course, which began on July 9, was made possible thanks to collaboration between the worker’s organization WAC-MAAN and the Health Ministry, together with the Pat Matthews Academic School of Nursing at Hillel Yaffe Medical Center and the Dorot Geriatric Center in Netanya. The participants are from Baqa el-Gharabiyeh, Kufr Qara, Ara, Arara, Zemer and Jisr az-Zarqa. The task of recruiting the participants and assisting them through the studies until they are settled at work was shouldered by Wafa Tayara and Amani Qaadan, coordinators of WAC-MAAN’s Women at Work project in Baqa el-Gharabia.

The course includes 72 hours of theoretical instruction (14 sessions) held at Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, and 48 hours of practical experience (8 sessions) in geriatric centers in Netanya and Pardes Hannah. Lectures are given in Arabic by qualified and experienced instructors supervised by Tamar Wachter from the Pat Matthews Academic School of Nursing. Those who successfully complete the course will be certified by the Health Ministry and assisted into jobs in geriatric institutions near their towns of residence.

Participants expres

sed their enthusiasm for the course’s high standards and the opportunities it grants them. After the second session, one participant said, “Yesterday’s meeting was excellent. I went home full of energy and in a great mood. I went straight to my aged mother and talked to her in light of what we had learned about the elderly’s sensitivities and fears. It helped me to get close to her. I can’t wait to start work and apply everything I’ve learned in the training, because I really like this field. I’m learning so much, even though it’s just the beginning.”

The initiative to organize this training began last February when WAC contacted the Knesset’s Welfare Committee, chaired by Elie Elalouf, which discussed the lack of geriatric care workers and the option of bringing in migrant laborers for care homes. In the committee’s second discussion of this issue, on March 21, Qaadan, of WAC presented an alternative option: training Arab women and assisting them with job placements.

Tsaffy Hillel-Diamant, the Health Ministry’s national officer for maintaining standards in geriatric care, was also present. She took up Qaadan’s idea and subsequently visited WAC’s center in  the Baqa el-Gharabiyeh branch and was impressed by the organization’s work. WAC held  interviews with women between the ages of 18 and 50, and recruited the most suitable to the course.

In light of the success in recruiting such a large number of women in such a short time, another course is planned which will open this September. More than 20 women have already signed up. These women heard about the course even though it has not yet been officially advertised.

* written by Amani Qaadan

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