These days all of Israel is coping with a great amount of anxiety and distress, and the youngest Israelis are struggling the most. To offer comfort and psychological relief to children from the South who witnessed and experienced unspeakable atrocities, we’ve deployed our Hibuki therapy program to address the needs of thousands of traumatized Israeli children during this current conflict.
As you may recall, Hibuki — based on the Hebrew word “hibuk,” which means hug — was born during the Second Lebanon War, a shared project of JDC, the Israeli Ministry of Education, and the Department of Psychology at Tel Aviv University. Since its creation, Hibuki has helped over 10,000 traumatised Israeli children in communities along Israel’s southern and northern borders.
Additionally, JDC deployed this program to help Japanese children following the 2012 Tsunami and Ukrainian refugee children at the height of the conflict in 2022.
The doll helps children regain feelings of control and process what they have been through. By taking care of Hibuki, identifying with him, and playing with him, children find ways to express uncertainty and the complicated feelings they have about what they experienced. Conducted in a safe and protected space in the hotels now housing tens of thousands of displaced Israelis, the program also helps parents, educators, and caregivers learn how to enable children to project their emotions, fears, and needs onto Hibuki and then provide appropriate support.
Please take a moment to watch this video to learn more about the positive impact of this healing approach, and feel free to share it with networks as well.
All of our emergency relief efforts, including this Hibuki initiative, would not be possible without the leadership of our dedicated Israel team, who advance our sacred mission in these very hard times.
The JDC is looking to raise over $3 million US dollars so more Hibuki dolls can be distributed throughout Israel. One doll costs US$ 50. Please consider donating.
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