Dina’s family made their way to Israel from Ethiopia in 2005. Shortly after, they settled in Jaffa in a government-sponsored absorption center. Dina is the youngest of nine children, with very elderly parents. Dina found it extremely difficult to adapt to her new environment and received no help or encouragement from her family. Her antagonistic and derisive attitude towards her school work and other extra-curricular activities stemmed from deep feelings of insecurity and inferiority. Yet the Jaffa Institute counselors at the Moadoniot/ After School Educational Enrichment Program would not give up on her.
Although Dina is a 4th grade student, at the beginning of the school year she could read no more than a few short sentences and her vocabulary was extremely limited. She also lacked basic mathematic comprehension in multiplication tables, addition, and subtraction. Her knowledge was far below the 4th grade standards and her inexperience with independent studying kept her behind.
Once Dina began receiving daily private counseling she drastically improved and inched closer to the level of her classmates. The Moadonit staff worked closely with Dina, utilizing games and other creative outlets to develop independent study habits and strengthen her mathematical skills.
Dina has come a long way since the beginning of this process. She’s constantly taking books out from the school library and reading with enthusiasm. She is attentive in class, participates in discussions, and completes her homework and school assignments. Dina has become a joyful part of the class at the Moadonit and is simultaneously becoming a symbol of progress to her traditional cultural environment.