Mendy is only ten years old, but within a short span of time he’s had to make two life-changing transitions. A few months ago he came to Israel on aliyah from England with his mother. More recently, he was brought to Neve Michael for counseling and therapy. The reason for the latter change in young Mendy’s life is tragic: Throughout his childhood, he suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of his father, who is now locked up in prison in Manchester.
Mendy’s good fortune in life is that he has a loving mother who is determined to mend all the pain and sorrow he has had to withstand in his formative years. She took positive action when she brought him to Israel, putting distance between him, his abusive father and the scene of his childhood trauma. And now she is getting the most of what we have to offer her son at Neve Michael.
With all the distress in Mendy’s life, he is a bright, promising child who is able to separate the good from the bad and move onward. He is slowly learning Hebrew, making friends at the Children’s Village, and already says that he loves being at Neve Michael.
Mendy also realizes that in spite of his rough childhood, there are some memories he holds dear to him that he wants to hold on to.
We have a wonderful carpenter named Yoram who does volunteer work once a week at the Children’s Home. Mendy has asked Yoram to make him a memory box to store all the special pictures and letters he had been keeping in a shoebox under his bed. There are pictures of him riding his bicycle in the park, playing football with his classmates in the schoolyard, laughing with his mom. There is one picture of a childhood friend who he hopes to see again. There are letters from his friend, and also from aunts and uncles. These keepsakes of his past life are precious to him, and he asked Yoram to make a home for them.
Yoram delivered, fashioning a sturdy memory box out of pine wood with a lacquer paint finish, and a padlock and key for safekeeping. Our volunteer carpenter is happy to bring joy to one of our children. And such joy…Mendy’s memory box, which he proudly displays to everyone, has him smiling from ear to ear. One would think that he struck gold!
Mendy has taken something from his past, secured it, keeps it close to him. But he knows that the other part of his past, the dark part, is something he sorely needs to overcome. Mendy needs our help, and he is ready to receive all the guidance, counseling and therapy that we have to offer him.