Wednesday, May 18, 2011
One fine sunny day last week, Savta and I were 'holding court' in our usual conference room, aka the mid level entrance to the mall in town. While enjoying the warm day over cigarettes, and friendly banter with he guards and paasers by, several of the local gimps came up and asked us what was going with a program they are all members of. The closest I can get to name of the project in English is The Support Community For the Disabled. That condenses down neatly to 2 words in Hebrew. The JDC started it a short time after the last Lebanon war in order to train those of us who were able and interested to be able to give real time answers to local disabled folks during a security emergency, war, or other emergency situation. Members were also supplied with medic alert/call buttons and phone numbers as well as the option to get greatly subsidised ambulance and medical service. There were bi monthly get togthers, seminars and movies as well as trips to various places that we don't often get a chance to go to because of mobility issues. We don't all have adapted vehicles. There were several projects carried out members that were 'commisioned' by the municipality, which in the end were proven to be nothing more than busy work devised to keep us busy and quiet while things just stayed the same. The JDC turns projects like this over to the 'locals' after three years, and only after securing the funds to continue from the government, which is supposed to channel the agreed upon amount to the company that runs the project. The transition was seemless in the other localities, but, not in Kiryat Shemonah, which was the flag ship of the whole program.
Savta and I promptly set out to find out was going on, and the information was at our finger tips with in minutes as one of the project's employees showed up at just the right moment. He told us that the company intends to close the project at the end of this month, whether or not they get paid what they owed. The do not and will not trust the municipality to uphold their end of the agreement and transfer the funds they contracted to pass on. This just wasn't acceptable to us and we called the other two members of ouur local group and contacted the press. The reult of one is in my previous post. I will post the newspaper article after I bully my HP scanner into working. Not all handicapped people are as fortunate as I in being relatively well educated and somewhat able to express myself, so here I am, finally posting about something important here. Tonight we are metting with a group of students at the local college who are interested in helping us. I even opened a Facebook for us. It's in Hebrew at the moment, but my page is the English one for anyone who might be interested.