Keren Malki's work is based around
the idea that no place is better for a child with special needs than that
child's own home. Helping to enable that to happen is what drives our
activities, day after day.
The challenges facing a family with a seriously disabled child
are not simple. Neurological disorders, severe illness and developmental
problems in childhood change the lives of all concerned: the child, the parents,
the siblings and - in some ways - the society around them.
Experience shows that such families are rarely in a position to
stand up to these challenges without sustained, targeted help.
In Israel, sadly, the government
belongs more to the problem than to the solution.
That is where our role starts.
The Malki Foundation (Keren Malki in
Hebrew) was founded
in 2001 as a living memorial to a girl who
dedicated herself to caring for people with disabilities, among them her own
severely disabled sister.
The life of Malka Chana Roth, who
was fifteen when her life was violently ended by Arab
terrorists, is the inspiration for the foundationís work. Her murder is the
reason it was created.
Keren Malkiís work is channeled into
three active programs: one focused on providing specialized equipment in the home, and
the other two on home-based therapies. In all 3 tracks, the goal is to empower
families who want to give their seriously disabled child the best possible care
Most families benefiting from Keren Malkiís programs first learn
about them by word of mouth: via a social worker or from their childís
neurologist or therapist. The number of families admitted to the program
currently stands at several hundred; the numbers are growing steadily. Fresh
applications arrive at the rate of some thirty a month.
Keren Malkiís limited but growing
financial resources dictate that we move forward very carefully, taking the
trouble to clearly define goals and manage expenditure conservatively.
Providing therapies in the home
innovative Therapies at Home Program (known until 2012 as the
Right to Nurture Program) was launched in 2003. It is based on the
principle that striving to meet the needs of a seriously disabled child requires
all the love and care the family can musterÖ and as much paramedical therapy
support as they can afford. The cost of therapies, and finding the money to fund
it, is a major factor in the lives of such families. Schools, both special
purpose and mainstream, provide some therapies, but never enough.
The message from Keren Malki to
parents coping with these major challenges is: You find the therapists who can
best help you child, and we will help you cover the costs.
But Keren Malki's Therapies at Home
program comes with conditions: families must first make full use of the
therapies to which the child is currently entitled under the law. Once they have
worked through the system and obtained what is available there, our role begins.
Keren Malkiís founders, Frimet and
Arnold Roth, have had their own battles with the public health bureaucracy over
the past decade. (The youngest of the Roth children suffers from blindness and
other extreme disabilities.) Their experience is a significant factor in
moulding the foundationís direction and policies.
Applicant families admitted to our
Therapies at Home program receive financial support for any one or all of the
following: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, therapeutic swimming, speech
therapy and therapeutic horse-riding.
To qualify for Keren Malki support,
the child needs to be diagnosed as having a significant disability, and must
reside in the family home rather than in an institution. This is a fundamental
issue for us. Many large and fine institutions for the disabled operate in
Israel. The guiding principle in Keren Malkiís work, however, is that we support
and empower parents who want their child to continue living at home.
Unfortunately there are very few
Israeli organizations which promote this view, something we hope will change
The rules of the Therapies at Home
program require that families seeking admission furnish a letter from a medical
specialist certifying that the child has a significant disability. A simple
questionnaire is filled in by a parent and the modest set of papers is then
considered at one of the weekly meetings of Keren Malkiís acceptance committee.
Click here for the application form (Hebrew)
Families admitted to the Therapies at
Home program receive reimbursement (normally 75%) of the therapy costs against
the receipts which they supply. For the period September 1, 2012 until December
31, 2013, each child accepted into the program will receive a maximum total
reimbursement of NIS 8,300. This is under constant review, with the expectation
that it will be raised over time.
The therapist providing the service
must be a licensed professional in his or her field under Israeli law; and the
receipt for payment must comply with the taxation authoritiesí rules. As a
matter of principle, we will not reimburse therapies provided Ďoff the booksí or
by unlicensed professionals.
Note: You can download the Therapies at
Home application form and the
Frequently Asked Questions (or FAQ) form, currently available in Hebrew only,
Long-term access to vital equipment
In Keren Malkiís second program, formally
called the Keren Malki Equipment
Lending Unit at Yad Sarah,
we provide specialized equipment for the home: items that generally are either
unavailable in Israel from any other source, or prohibitively expensive.
The goal, as with the Therapies at
Home program, is to
empower and support families wanting to care for their special-needs child at
home, rather than to institutionalize the child. An Israel-wide network of
volunteers aiding disabled, elderly and house-bound people, the Yad Sarah
organization has for years been devoted to making home-care an option. It has
gained a well-deserved international reputation for the excellence of its
Since establishing Keren Malki's
joint venture with Yad Sarah in
January 2003, we have had the privilege of providing home-care beds, standers,
walkers, bath-inserts, hoists and host of other items to households where a
seriously disabled child is cared for. The Keren Malki joint-venture warehouse at Yad Sarah
in Jerusalem has served
many hundreds of families from all parts of the country and from all demographic
segments of Israeli society.
To obtain equipment from the Keren Malki Unit at Yad Sarah,
please phone before you visit to ensure the equipment you need is available and
in stock: 02-644-4600. A dedicated team of support personnel will be able
to advise you about obtaining what the child needs. For families living outside
Jerusalem, arrangements will be made to have the equipment delivered to your
home in any part of Israel.
When we began supplying equipment for home
care, we had a general sense of the kinds of equipment needed, and not much idea
of how quickly the demand from families would materialize and grow.
Some years later, it is apparent to Yad Sarahís
management and volunteers and to Keren Malki Ė and to anyone who watches the
steady flow of expensive equipment being taken home by grateful borrowers Ė what
a valuable service we provide. The faces say it all.
Our equipment includes about thirty different classes of item;
some are in greater demand than others. Our specialty focus makes us one of the
largest purchasers in the world for certain kinds of aids and therapeutic
Starting in early 2011, and after a
year of preparation, our new and
innovative third track, the Zlata Hersch Memorial Therapists on Wheels Program, got
Currently in its early stages, the
mobile therapists who will travel to where the special-needs children live,
delivering quality paramedical therapies in Israelís northern and southern
In those areas, access to such services is often inherently more
difficult; fewer therapists are available, and distance makes it hard to bring
the child to the therapy sense. We firmly believe this program, initiated and funded
by modest supporters in Jerusalem (who prefer their identity to remain private)
with a seed grant made in honour of a loved family member, offers a creative
solution to a serious challenge.
We are looking forward to see it advance at least as
well as our two original programs have done.
The degree to which the Malki Foundationís work will succeed is
directly related to how well we are able to maximize the effectiveness of money
raised from donors. This, in turn, requires minimizing our expenditure of time
and money on infrastructure and overheads.
Keren Malki has always had a lean management team.
Our fund-raising is, in principle, done by volunteers. A
small group of committed volunteers, including Frimet and Arnold Roth who
founded the organization in their daughter's memory and play a non-executive
contribute their time without payment, providing the additional manpower we
currently need to do our work including the raising of donation money.
Keren Malkiís financial accounts are professionally prepared and
audited, and the organization is registered with the Israeli authorities as a
not-for-profit (an Amuta). The donations we raise outside of Israel are
channeled via Friends of Keren Malki voluntary groups in Germany, the United
Kingdom, the United States and
Australia, and are transferred to Israel with no deduction and no overhead expenses.
Keren Malkiís sharp focus and lean structure should never be
confused with amateurism. In our quiet way, we have already reached many hundreds of
Israeli families, and with your help we will reach hundreds more this year.
For enquiries about day-to-day management of Keren
Malki's therapy and equipment services, call our office: +972-2-567-0602
Keren Malki's legal structure is described
opening of the
Keren Malki Unit at Jerusalem's Yad Sarah
Organization (7th January 2003)
original September 2001 'Open
Letter' about the goals and aspirations
of the Malki Foundation