Rachel – A Community Chessed Story
We were contacted independently by two concerned neighbors in a community, about an 11 year old Moroccan girl. Rachel was bullied and shunned by other girls in her neighborhood. Both callers described the girl as sweet but her family had experienced a major loss. Could a Kav L’Noar mentor be helpful?
The mother is a young widow who married her American husband after making aliya from Morocco. The father became ill approximately 3 years ago and, unfortunately, died shortly thereafter. While the family receives some survivors’ benefits from the State, finances are extremely limited. The mother is overwhelmed just managing food and shelter for herself and her 4 children.
Rachel, the youngest, seems to be having the most difficulty. While she is bright, she neglects her work and acts out in the classroom. She has little frustration tolerance, is highly anxious and is oftentimes given to violent angry outbursts. Because of her behavior, Rachel is ridiculed and shunned by the other children.
When a community comes together, great things happen
A suitable mentor was identified and paired with Rachel who after several months of bi-weekly meetings, now feels much better about herself. She is slowly developing the social skills she needs to make friends.
While this story is typical of many other Kav L’Noar client family issues, it is quite unique for the unusual involvement by the community where Rachel and her family live. One neighbor took responsibility to raise funds from other neighborhood families to cover Kav L’Noar’s minimum mentoring fees. They also requested that we not inform Rachel’s mother about how the mentoring cost was being covered so that she would not be embarrassed when she meets people in the neighborhood.
The necessity of a wider circle and community working together to raise healthy children
Dr. David Pelcovitz, an internationally-respected psychologist and educator, has often discussed the importance of a caring community in the development of a child. “The risk is much lower when there is a sense of community and people notice if something is wrong. The highest rate of difficulties occur when kids have somehow escaped the caring hand of the community”. Click here to read more about mentoring and caring communities.