14-year-old Tal’s father is serving a long prison sentence and his absence has had a hugely unsettling effect on Tal. Tal struggles with behavioural issues and low self-esteem and has moved schools five times in three years. His mother was desperate to find somewhere that Tal would ‘fit in’ and MPOTP’s summer camp felt like the perfect option.
For the first few days, Tal made fun of the special needs kids and didn't want to get involved in any of the activities. He was very stubborn and insular and hardly left his room. But one morning he chose to participate and quickly things started to change. He offered to help one of the children with special needs and couldn’t believe how grateful they were to him. It made him feel good so he started helping more and more. He told his camp leaders that he felt like he had failed at everything in life…but seeing how much the children with special needs trusted him had made him feel worth something.
Today Tal is a regular at MPOTP, adores participating in all the activities, and his leaders know they can count on him to support other children less able.
WHY CHOOSE MPOTP
My Piece of the Puzzle is the only organisation in Israel bringing troubled children from broken homes, many with behavioural issues, together with children who have special needs and often feel isolated from the rest of society. It was created by Jenna Elbaz and Shaked Karp who struggled themselves as teenagers but were fortunate enough to have the support system they needed to show them their worth. They created MPOTP to do the same for young people who fall between the cracks.
At MPOTP, children take part in a huge range of activities from rock climbing to horse riding to cooking and volunteering projects. For both groups of children, the partnership helps unlock their potential. The teens-at-risk show immense sensitivity to the children with special needs which in turn leaves a profound effect on the special needs children. It helps improve their self-esteem and it really calms them.
MPOTP now operates in schools across Israel and is equipping teenagers with the tools to become happy, confident, contributing members of society.