A group of nearly 20 high school students from Boys Town Jerusalem reported for work the day after the school year ended, paint brushes and screwdrivers in hand, to help with the repair works and redecoration the school undertakes in preparation for the new school year.
As well as performing a vital service for the school, the money they are earning is so vital for their families. For Alon (15) it means his mother can buy food. Soon after his parents’ bitter divorce, Alon’s father was injured at work and therefore sends no child support to Alon’s mother.
An extra bonus for the student work crew is to enjoy a wholesome lunch on campus which is so important for a number of these boys who have very little food at home.
Other students are working over the summer as counsellors for younger students participating in the variety of summer activities that Boys Town Jerusalem offers.
Amongst the students working at the school are a number who participated in the highly-subsidised trip to Poland the school ran last spring. In some cases, where families could not afford the subsidised trip, the students are using this as a way of making a contribution to the cost of the programme.
“Both the school and the students gain a great deal from the Summer Work Programme,” states Assistant High School Principal Yoram Ram. “For the boys, the opportunity to earn money not only boosts their self-esteem but also enables them to help their families. Plus, there’s a long-term benefit to the school from our summer workers. The boys always come back to school with a new appreciation for the upkeep of the campus, and continue to lend a hand all year round. It’s one of the best investments we make.”