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It is well known that Israel is a terror-ridden country. What might be lesser considered is the long-term effects terrorism has on people's lives. This is especially true for children, who do not have the vocabulary to express their trauma and fears.
The non-profit, Shiloh Israel Children's Fund (SICF) strives to help and heal young victims of terror who live in Israel's Biblical heartland.
"I was in a terror attack with my three-year-old child in 2001," said SICF founder David Rubin. "Terrorists bombarded my car with bullets, hitting me in my leg and wounding my son in the neck. Had the bullet that hit him gone 1 mm to the left, my son would have been killed. Thank God he lived. But, he suffered terrible post-traumatic stress disorder."
Children, who are victims of heinous Arab terror
or have lost loved ones to these barbaric acts, often suffer from post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to Rubin. Though traumatized adults can speak about their anguish with family, friends and psychologists, children lack the words and emotional maturity to share their pain and fears.
Children's PTSD manifests with nightmares and night screaming, behavioral regression, incontinence, decreased school performance, aggression, anxiety and/or introversion.
These include using art, music, movement, animals, horses and specialized relaxation rooms to get children to release the fears, sorrows and stresses in non-verbal ways, as well as rebuild their sense of security and self confidence in themselves and a world that suddenly feels unpredictable.
"Our research found that these therapies work," Rubin said. "Our professional staff, many of whom have been victims of terror themselves, create a unique healing program for each child - with love, care, patience and understanding."
SICF has helped thousands of children in the Biblical heartland thrive and succeed in their lives and reclaim a positive future.
"Our motto is to 'return the lost innocence of Israeli children,'" said Rubin. "Our present healing campus hosts 2,000 children. Yet, there are literally thousands more who desperately need to receive our unique therapies
Rubin believes that nearly every family in the Biblical heartland has a direct link to terror. Most have lost parents, teachers, friends and family to violent acts of terror or survived a terror attack. Therefore, the therapies that SICF provides are in increasing demand.
"We launched an urgent crowdfunding campaign to raise money to help subsidize the therapies our families need but many cannot afford," said Rubin.
"I believe that it is our obligation to help children
who are suffering," said Rubin. "Marital difficulties often develop in families that have experienced terror and have to deal with their traumatized children as a result. Healing the children also heals their families."
Shiloh Israel Children's Fund's innovative therapies have proven themselves to aid traumatized children in reclaiming a positive future.
"And the squares of the city shall be crowded with boys and girls playing in the squares" (Zechariah 8:5).
"With the generous donations of people who care to rebuild the lives of children that terrorists tried to destroy, I believe we are fulfilling Zechariah 8:5," said Rubin. "These healed children will be the fulfillment of prophecy and the future success of Israel."
To donate to Shiloh Israel Children's Fund, please click here.