Women’s empowerment community launches ‘Extreme Start-Over’ - The Jerusalem Post

Updated: 2 days ago

The first initiative of the project will assist a mother of six children who is currently navigating a difficult divorce.
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF Published: NOVEMBER 24, 2021 06:36

A vendor sells #MeToo badges a protest march for survivors of sexual assault and their supporters in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California US (photo credit: LUCY NICHOLSON / REUTERS)

The ESD (Empowerment Self Defense) community of Israel will launch “Extreme Start-Over,” a new initiative in which volunteers from all over Israel spend three days helping women with families begin life anew after turmoil and adversity, a press release announced on Tuesday.

The Extreme Start-Over is a cooperative effort by “El Halev,” an Israeli non-profit working to prevent sexual, emotional and physical violence through innovative educational programs, and “MyPwr Ltd,” a Jerusalem startup dedicated to violence prevention through education, technology and community-building.

The first initiative of the project will assist a mother of six children who is currently navigating a difficult divorce. Volunteers plan to renovate and repaint the woman’s home, as well as clean her home, do laundry, and restock the entire home with enough food for her and her six children.

“Our friend and colleague has a good job and a great attitude. With this Extreme Start-Over, she will be able to move forward, support her children and do what she needs to do knowing that she is not alone,” Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman, founder and CEO of MyPwr Ltd, said.

Hundreds of women gathering in Tel Aviv to protest rape culture, October 15, 2021 (credit: KULAN)

Divorced women ages 18-49 are twice as likely as men to fall below the poverty line, according to a 2018 study on gender inequality across 89 countries by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (simply referred to as UN Women) and the World Bank.

“While we know there are many women, many families, in this type of situation, we know of this one that needs us right now,” Chaitze Tavens, coordinator of logistics for the Extreme Start-Over, declared.

Nearly two million Israelis live below the Poverty Line – more than half of them children – according to a 2019 study by the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi).

“This young, working mother has waited patiently for 16 months for the system to help her,” said Sidikman. “The help has not yet come and if it ever does, it will likely not be enough to give them the fresh start they both need and deserve,” she added.

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