New Website Keeps Israeli Kids Connected While in Hospital
A new educational website serving hospitalized children in Israel launched this week, a milestone in World ORT’s development of the Kadima Mada – Kav-Or program.
The new website is designed to dispel the darkness of a hospital stay for teenagers as well as younger children.
The Hebrew-language website – English and Arabic versions are due to go live shortly – hosts a range of information, diversions and services designed to comfort, entertain and educate youngsters and teenagers undergoing treatment in 31 public hospitals.
But only the public part of the website is going live while World ORT’s Kadima Mada team continues to work on developing the password protected sections through which children will be able to access distance learning, social forums and much more.
“What you see now is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Rona Kwartaz, Kadima Mada – Kav-Or Project Coordinator. “It’s a major undertaking. We are, in effect, creating two new websites, the public one and the private one; the latter is divided into a section for the younger children traditionally served by Kav-Or and another for the teenagers we are reaching out to. The public and private sites have been developed in parallel; they use different codes but what they share is attractiveness, usability and effectiveness.”
It represents a massive modernisation and upgrade on the website which Kav-Or’s visionary founders set up in 1993. The charity trailblazed on-line resources for young patients, allowing them to maintain social and educational links with friends and schools as well as pursue independent learning. It merged with World ORT’s Kadima Mada program in Israel three years ago enabling a huge injection in modern equipment, methods and training.
Since 2009, World ORT – in cooperation with the Ministries of Education, Health and Welfare, and the Prime Minister’s Office, and thanks to a major donation from the Swiss-based SASA Setton Foundation – has transformed schools situated within public hospitals by providing more than 300 computers, nearly 20 interactive whiteboards, more than 50 robotics kits and a range of ancillary equipment. As Kadima Mada – Kav-Or, the program has also increased the role of volunteers, provides teacher training, has upgraded distance learning provision, created educational programs and has developed collaborative links with medical professionals.
“We get to help children when they need us most: when they’re sick, scared and things don’t make sense,” Ms Kwartaz said. “We like to focus on the healthy part of the child. We want to give them a sense of the light at the end of the tunnel, that everything will be fine. In hospital they are disconnected from friends and dreading what’s going to happen. It makes sense to get them to use all these wonderful tools we’ve provided, most of which they don’t have at their regular school.”
By choosing Kadima Mada – Kav-Or, the children can access animations which explain in an age appropriate way their ailments and treatments. They will also be able to create social networks with other patients their own age across the country. There are educational links to help them keep up with schoolwork and prepare for matriculation exams but there are also games to help them relax.