The story of Reut and Matan is a love story between two adults who suffered head injuries. When she was a child, Reut was suffocated with a basketball net she played with, and Matan was injured during a complicated surgery, while trying to treat meningitis. Reut and Matan are just two out of dozens of other people with different degrees of mental and physical disabilities, who call Yahad Bagalil their home. Yahad ("Together" in Hebrew) Bagalil located in the periphery of northern Israel is unique in furnishing training, employment, free time activities, accommodation, and above all, lots of love.
My Photo-Volunteering takes me there (150Km/95Miles away) about once a year, from time to time I also take pictures during donation events, hoping and pushing this NGO to use my pictures more widely and effectively i.e. focused at their preferred target audience and not just in a calendar, Facebook or web gallery. Photo-Volunteering in a mental disabilities institute is on one hand very difficult and demanding, not always easy (but possible!) to get permission to shoot and advertise yet on the other hand, this is one of the most rewarding opportunities for any photographer; You get to really understand a challenge which in many places is still hidden, you get to know the individuals there by name and most of them start to recognize you too, and even a "simple" question like "when will you come again?" make you very emotional.
Our contribution in such a place can be done in many ways including:
- Generating a smile, using the camera as a communication and concentration tool
- Documenting different activities and making personal slide-shows; the guys there really like to see themselves again and again "on TV"
- Encouragement pictures for volunteers, donators, artists who perform there etc.
- "Visual Dictionary" photographs of simple objects (Table, glass, car, garden...) to help those who can't speak and instead - point at a picture to express themselves
- General PR uses like Facebook, website, newsletters etc.
Being prepared for the job interview demonstrates to the employer that the job seeker is genuinely interested in the job. And, that preparation is often viewed by the employer as an example of the job seeker's work....
What motivates your employees to participate in your corporate volunteering program? With so many options available for giving and volunteering, why in the world would anybody do it through the workplace? If you’re not asking that question, you should be – because your employees are.
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