Happy New Year for boy with cancer


12 September 2007 World ORT gives computer to boy with cancer An 11-year-old boy with brain cancer is ending the Jewish year on an unexpectedly positive note thanks to World ORT, which has given him a computer to help him learn from home. Yaniv, who lives with his mother and brother in northern Israel, was to have started junior high school last week but has not been attending due to a combination of daily hospital treatment and a lack of self-confidence. Now, thanks to the support provided by World ORT and the personal intervention of the manager of the Ministry of Educations northern region, Dr Orna Simchon, a revitalised Yaniv is planning to brave his new class after the High Holy Days. Yaniv was so excited to receive the computer and very keen to start learning graphics, said Shmuel Cohen, World ORTs Technology Education field team member in Israel. His mother, who works hard to raise her family alone as a dressmaker, had tears in her eyes. She told us that she didnt receive support from her ex-husband and yet there were strangers who, through World ORT, were prepared to help. Mr Cohen has fitted the computer with a web camera which would allow Yaniv to participate in distance learning programmes should he continue to be unable to attend school. Yaniv received the computer just days after Dr Simchon approached World ORT Director General Robert Singer for help. She had met Yanivs mother, Sonia, and had agreed to try to help the boy after hearing his story. Dr Simchon made contact with Yanivs school to discuss ways of providing extra support and then telephoned Mr Singer. He immediately agreed to help and told me not to worry, everything would be arranged, Dr Simchon said. I went to visit Yaniv and his mother today (Wednesday) and they were so excited. Im so glad that I was able to call on the generosity of World ORT, which provides so much help for children in Israel. Yanivs family is very poor and so its very exciting to have been able to do this mitzvah at Rosh Hashanah. Dr Orna Simchon, rear, watches Yaniv put his new computer through its paces, the day before the Jewish New Year while his mother looks on. Dr Simchon is responsible for 640 schools and 2,700 kindergartens with a total 250,000 children, some of whom are benefiting from World ORTs Kadima Mada (Science Journey) programme to raise the level of science and technology education in Israel. Yaniv has been sick for a year but his cancer was only diagnosed two months ago. In constant pain, he divides his time between home and the Rambam Hospital in Haifa but he is not yet aware of the seriousness of his condition. His self-confidence has taken a knock, however, because of a squint that he fears may cause him to be subjected to ridicule. World ORT is a large, global organisation but at the end of the day we are all about caring for individuals boys, girls, men and women, black and white, Jewish and non-Jewish, said Mr Singer. Its a privilege to be able to help people, particularly those who, like Yaniv and his mother, are really struggling. Im delighted that we were able to add to the specialness of Yanivs Rosh Hashanah. We all wish him a speedy and full recovery in the coming year. World ORT was able to provide Yaniv with a computer thanks to the generous donations of ORT America supporters who had given to the Israel Emergency Campaign to help students in northern Israel who had suffered from last years rocket attacks. Yanivs family, which lives only eight kilometres from the border with Lebanon, was among those affected. Meanwhile, Yanivs morale has been given a further boost thanks to his class teacher, who arranged for students to send him personal greetings cards. So many people have come together to help make Yanivs new year a brighter one and in doing that they have made it a better one for us all, said Mr Cohen. World ORT is the worlds largest Jewish education and vocational training non-government organisation and has benefited more than 3 million people Jewish and non-Jewish in 100 countries since its foundation in 1880.