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I wanted to share this update on Aviran, a beneficiary of Federation’s support of therapeutic horse riding at Beit Uri, a home for the developmentally disabled in Israel.  The folks at Beit Uri sent a lovely note of thanks to our community—so thanks to everyone who supported our annual campaign for transforming lives like these.  Andrew

Aviran’s Story

“A heart of gold and a smile for everyone”…this is how Aviran is described by his carers and friends at Beit Uri. Born with mental retardation and coordination problems, Aviran, 37 years old, has lived in Beit Uri for 27 years of his life. His loving parents visit every week and recently he has learnt to take two buses to Migdal Ha’emek where he travels home once a month for Shabbat with his family.

Aviran cannot speak due to problems with his vocal chords, he has however developed a language of his own, which everyone who comes in contact with him on a daily basis seems to understand. A few years ago Aviran started horse-riding therapy to work on coordination skills and concentration issues. He waits eagerly for his riding session and according to his trainer, gains confidence from sitting high up on the horse which he loves. Riding and even galloping alone helps in building his communication skills with the horse and trainers, at the same time as working on balance.

With his new confidence, Aviran, made giant steps in his life. For 3 years he worked twice a week in “Yafit”, a local plastic factory in Afula. According to Danny Zecharia, the factory owner, “Anything we give him to do, Aviran does efficiently, he never says no and accomplishes each task with a smile and in good humour. It is a pleasure to work with him”. Unfortunately, ‘Yafit’ closed down and Aviran is now in search of a new job……

In Beit Uri, Aviran has been moved into an independent apartment across from the main home, where he is responsible for bringing the food from the kitchen, clearing away the dishes and cleaning up his own room. He has clearly made great leaps forward in his development and confidence during the past few years and is kind and helpful to anyone who needs his assistance.