"The colour green is returning to our Yemin Orde village"
December 2011 : An update on the Carmel Fire – one year on
- A year ago, on the second night of Chanukka, the wildfire in Israel’s North destroyed some 40% of Yemin Orde Youth Village, home to nearly 500 children from 20 countries around the world. Tragically, the fire reduced several of our children’s homes to ashes – exposing them to new trauma and dislocation.
- The most daunting challenge following the fire, with all of the upheaval it brought, was creating a safe and supportive environment for our children, assuring them that we are here for them and that we will rebuild.
- Following the fire, the children displayed much anxiety and they were clearly suffering. In an attempt to provide a response to the children’s needs, above all to the boys who were particularly troubled, we doubled therapy treatments.
- Once our children and graduates were safe, we turned to the massive clean-up and logistics issues which would take weeks to resolve.
- Next, we turned our energies to rebuilding. A steering committee was created at Yemin Orde comprised of internal staff, board members, architects, and engineers designing a master plan for the Village taking into account future needs, the village’s infrastructure and the role the village will play in caring for the next generation of immigrant and at-risk youth.
- The new master plan includes a perimeter road which circles the Village, enabling all of the internal roads to be car-free, thus insuring the children’s safety.
- Currently, we are working to secure building licenses from local authorities and issuing tenders to building constructors with the aim to begin construction in the spring, following the winter rains.
- It was a year full of challenges, but it was also a year in which we were able to witness great achievements among our children and our graduates. As we begin a new year at Yemin Orde, the color green is returning to Yemin Orde, together with the smiles on our children’s faces. Yemin Orde continues to be the very special place on the Carmel Mountains which it has always been.
- The estimated total destruction cost from the fire is £13.4 million The Village received a £4.4 million insurance settlement and £ 1.8 million in Israel government support. International fundraising efforts provided £6.1 million h includes donations from Israel. Great Britain, the United States and other countries. Given all of this generous support from a variety of sources, we are still in need of £1.1 million.