September has arrived, and like every other year, this means that hundreds of thousands of children in Israel are going back to school. Yet 2020 is a year like no other, and as the pandemic continues to spread, Israel’s children are bracing themselves for a year filled with online home learning. This year, back to school means emptier classrooms – and more Zoom.
This reality creates immense complications for everyone, but it is especially hard for children and families who do not own a computer. And if you think homes without computers are a marginal phenomenon in a tech-savvy country like Israel, then think again: In 2020, 200,000 families in Israel do not have home access to computers or an internet connection.
Israel’s growing digital divide is what initially prompted the establishment of Computer for Every Child, a nonprofit organization that has been providing Israeli children with computers since 1996. An official partner of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, Computer for Every Child collaborates closely with 220 local municipalities throughout Israel, which identify families in need of computers within their jurisdiction. Since its inception, Computer for Every Child has provided approximately 100,000 computer packages to disadvantaged families nationwide, which include internet connections and basic computer literacy training.
“Before the pandemic, equipping children with computers was crucial to their self-development and self-confidence,” says Ray Mallal, the chairman of Friends of Computer for Every Child. “Yet now this has become absolutely critical. Without computers, these children are unable to participate in large portions of the school curriculum.”
On an annual average, Computer for Every Child provides 6,000 computer packages to Israeli families in need. In 2020, due to the reliance of the education system on remote digital learning, the organization’s goal is to triple its service offering and deliver at least 20,000 computers.
“Israel’s municipalities are doing a great job of locating the families that require our assistance,” says Ray Mallal. “As the school year begins, our ultimate goal is to help every family that needs us. The more resources we have at our disposal, the more children we can assist.”
This heightened activity requires Computer for Every Child to triple its resources. The organization’s partners, the Prime Minister’s Office and the local authorities have committed to increasing their financial support, provided that Computer for Every Child can secure a substantial share of the additional required funds. As a result, Computer for Every Child is reaching out to potential donors from Israel and abroad who want to be there for schoolchildren who need help.
Computer for Every Child is committed to helping Israel’s schoolchildren, but it needs your help. Want to make a difference in the lives of Israel’s schoolchildren? Thinking of making a contribution? Please click here !