The Dual Battle

LOTEM stands with
the Special Populations

During war, the burdens we all bear are intensified, but individuals with disabilities endure even greater challenges.
In addition to the external conflicts that affect us all, they grapple with internal struggles unique to their daily lives. In our collective quest for resilience, it is imperative to provide concrete and immediate assistance tailored to their exceptional circumstances and disabilities.
LOTEM stands committed to this cause, ensuring no one is left behind during these trying times.

18% of Israel's population consists of people with disabilities: physical, sensory, mental and cognitive.

LOTEM is Israel's leading organization empowering children and adults with disabilities. We achieve this mission through guided, accessible activities encompassing the realms of nature, environment and society. Our focus is on guiding and supporting individuals with physical, mental, sensory and communicative challenges, as well as those from at-risk populations. We firmly believe that exposure to the inherent qualities of nature serves as a powerful tool for addressing and responding to stress and anxiety.
After years of dedicated work and an in-depth understanding of the unique needs of these special populations, we have honed our ability to tailor activities to cater to our participants' physical, emotional and program requirements.
Our activities are led by a team of seasoned professionals, including instructors and therapists with extensive experience. Throughout these activities, our primary emphasis is on fostering empowerment, cultivating essential life skills, encouraging emotional dialogue, and harnessing the therapeutic principles drawn from nature.
LOTEM works in cooperation with other organizations in Israel for people with disabilities, e.g., Ilan, Akim, Alvin, Beit HaGalgalim, Alot, Shalva, and more.

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Pivoting through 'Iron Swords'

The State of Israel is currently grappling with one of the most challenging periods in its history. The toll is staggering, with thousands of lives lost, hundreds kidnapped, and countless wounded. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced from their homes, and the conflict rages on, leaving the entire nation in the throes of unimaginable trauma.
Amidst this turmoil, children and adults with disabilities are embroiled in a dual struggle – one external and the other deeply internal. The internal battle they face can be as distressing as the external one, leaving them with a sense of isolation, confusion, and an unsettling feeling that the ground beneath them is shifting.
Their internal struggle encompasses various dimensions, including a lack of context and comprehension. For example, consider a person with a mental disability who is compelled to seek refuge in a shelter, without a true understanding of the events unfolding outside. The absence of an intermediary to help them understand the situation compounds their internal turmoil.

In these trying times, LOTEM remains committed to extending specialized support to those who need it most. We recognize the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities during this complex and distressing period.

To complicate matters, many of our dedicated staff members (who routinely support individuals with disabilities) find themselves absent due to injuries, reserve service commitments, or their obligations to support injured family members. This absence disrupts the familiar support network these individuals rely on. For example, for children with autism who have established profound connections with their instructors, the sudden disappearance of their trusted mentor, without any prior notice, is a dramatic and traumatic experience.

The prevailing climate of fear, uncertainty, and constant change exerts tremendous pressure on these individuals from all directions. Adapting to change is challenging for everyone, but for individuals with mental disabilities – particularly those who grapple with anxiety and depend on a structured routine – sudden shifts in their reality evoke profound and escalating fear.

The events unfolding in our country are inflicting emotional wounds on us all, plunging the entire nation into a state of collective trauma. To effectively support people with disabilities and aid in their recovery, it requires individuals with expertise in both trauma therapy and in working with individuals with disabilities. Regrettably, there are few professionals in Israel who possess proficiency in both of these critical domains.
LOTEM – as in previous wars and during the COVID period – is once again operating at full capacity. By the third day of the conflict, we had already initiated several projects designed to support individuals with disabilities. These projects cater to those displaced from their homes and directly exposed to the horrors of war, as well as those residing in different settings throughout Israel, and experiencing secondary trauma due to the intricacies of the situation.

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Some of our activities
during Operation "Protective Edge":

Some of our current activities

Pictures from our activities in the war-תמונות מהמלחמה כעת

Our Impact

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Improving the lives of over 100,000 people with disabilities every year
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active groups in nature classes in special education settings
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days of travel and nature per year for people with disabilities
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staff members qualified to work with and assist people with disabilities
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museums and heritage sites made accessible to people with disabilities with our help

Testimonials

"I wanted to say many, many thanks for the opportunity and your mobilization. It was a successful and very enjoyable activity for the tenants and they all cooperated without exception."

"In these complex days, Ilan members experience feelings of fear, anxiety, uncertainty. For many of them, the day and employment frameworks were closed. And they find themselves at home, seeing the news without doing anything. The zoom activities with LOTEM allow Ilan members a respite from the reality imposed on us, to engage in the subject of nature, to have fun and be freed from anxiety and negative thoughts."

"This week, we had an instructor from LOTEM for our activity. Our patients greatly enjoyed it. It provided both the residents with meaningful and educational experiences, and it also offered our instructors a well-deserved break from the stress and pressure we've been facing in the last two weeks. Our patients, who are on the autism spectrum, had a wonderful time."

"We are in an integration workshop in the hills during a very challenging time. Many of the staff have been drafted and the tenants are very stressed by the situation. Last week, we had an activity by LOTEM. It really helped refresh the schedule. The activity was really good and really made them happy."

How Your Donations Will Make a Difference

  1. Emergency Activities: Your donations will fund a series of accessible activities in plain language and using visual aids. These activities serve as a crucial first response in times of trauma, helping individuals cope with stress, uncertainty, and post-traumatic conditions. We employ elements and tools from the natural world to facilitate the healing process.
  2. Specialized Training for Support Teams: Your support will enable us to provide training for the specialized teams working with individuals with disabilities. This training, led by trauma therapists, equips these teams to offer immediate therapeutic assistance within their frameworks. Given the shortage of trauma care professionals specializing in working with special populations, we empower these teams to provide essential support.
  3. Accessible Nature Activities: Your contributions will help create accessible, experiential and joyful nature activities. These activities offer calm, respite and enjoyment while restoring a sense of security and certainty for those we serve. These activities are suitable for both the families of evacuees and individuals with disabilities in educational and welfare settings across the country.

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All donations to LOTEM are recognized for income tax purposes under section 46
IBAN – IL94-0127-2200-0000-0366-434
BIC/SWIFT – POALILIT
Account name –
LOTEM-MAKING NATURE ACCESSIBLE(R.A)

Why the Urgency?

With every passing moment, the challenges intensify. The devastating effects of war do not slow down, and neither can we. Your immediate support is the key to prompt treatment, offering solace, and kindling hope for those contending with a dual struggle.
Support LOTEM and join us in alleviating the suffering of those who have endured the unimaginable depths of external and internal hell.

LOTEM is supported by:

Milestones on Our Journey

1993 – LOTEM is Founded

The organization was established to allow travelers with disabilities an educational, empowering and equal travel experience. The association's activities focused on trips in the north of the country.

1995 – Start of activity at Emek HaShalom Farm

An educational ecological farm hosting experiential and accessible activities on nature, environment and traditional agriculture.

2011 – Establishment of the LOTEM Jerusalem Center

The organization expanded its activities to the Jerusalem area, Central Israel and the Judean Desert

2015 – Establishment of our In-Service Accessibility Center

A visitors center that exposes groups and organizations to the importance of accessibility in various areas of life and provides basic tools for making service and content accessible.

2017 – Award of Excellence from the Shalem Foundation

The award was given to LOTEM as a token of appreciation for the development of services and initiatives in the field of intellectual developmental disabilities.

2019 – Establishment of a LOTEM Center in the South

LOTEM expanded its activities to the southern region – the Negev, the Arava and the Eilat Mountains.

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Support LOTEM and help us ease the suffering of these people, who have and are experiencing the worst hell imaginable. Let's not leave anyone behind!

טיולים

לטם הוא הארגון המוביל בארץ בהעצמת ילדים ובוגרים עם מוגבלויות, על ידי פעילות מודרכת בחיק הטבע. מתוך ההכרה בתרומת היציאה לטבע לאיכות החיים של כל אדם, העמותה מבקשת להנגיש את חוויות הטיול לכלל האוכלוסייה. אנחנו מדריכים ילדים ובוגרים עם מוגבלות: פיזית, שכלית, חושית, נפשית, תקשורת ואוכלוסיות בסיכון.