SHALVA, the Association for Mentally and Physically challenged children in Israel, is dedicated to providing quality care for children with special needs, empowering their families, and promoting social tolerance. Non-denominational and free of charge , SHALVA's programs provide care from infancy to adulthood. The organisation's advocacy initiatives, community events, and disability research continue to inspire a more inclusive society.
I visited SHALVA back in March and it was beyond inspiring to see how full of joy the children of SHALVA really are, it really is just breathtaking. As I walked through what feels like a home, not an institution, I was greeted with smiles larger than life; the children took my hand and held it with love and even treated me to an enchanting sing song. You see, it is hard to imagine what the quality of life is like when facing such difficulties, either mentally, physically or both! Yet each and every child shows this beautiful love for life, and it makes you feel a sense of regret for when we moan about such meaningless woes in our everyday lives. Life really is too short and the children of SHALVA are living proof that anyone can achieve their dreams. For more information check out the SHALVA website where you can read about Yossi's story and many others.
SHALVA has given me this burst of energy and I feel so enlightened by all that they do, in fact all of these challenges on my bucket list suddenly seem doable, because I am not talking about 'seeing the northern lights' which is right at the top, I'm talking about the challenges that push you to do things you never thought you could... I never... NO ONE ever thought I would be able to run a marathon (see post here) and guess what I almost gave up! I ran for part of the race with this amazing man, a father to a child who is part of SHALVA. We ran together for the most of 5k, and he spoke of his journey, joys and struggles of having a child with special needs. It was this man that really made me appreciate how much SHALVA do not only for the child, but also for the parent. I didn't manage to meet this man again, but I hope to re-connect one day again on another visit to Israel. You see, these extreme challenges aren't worthwhile without a cause to raise money for. Without SHALVA I'm not sure I would have had the want or need to complete such a challenge and yet I'm doing it all over again in March 2015.
In addition to this, I get to complete each challenge as part of two teams; Team SHALVA and Team Caplan. I will continue and aim to complete each challenge with my best friend and my own inspiration, my father. It really is amazing to share all these life-changing challenges the big AC (Adam Caplan aka DAD) and I don't want to stop! The feeling of pushing yourself beyond limits and discovering your mind is more powerful than ever believed is honestly life-changing - I am not only raising money for the cause close to my heart, I am also learning things about myself and growing as a person in the process, I don't want to and will not stop SO ONTO MY LATEST CHALLENGE OF CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO!!!
|TEAM CAPLAN! OH YARRRR|
Excited just doesn't even do it justice and this allows Team Caplan to raise A LOT, in fact £10,000 A LOT of money for SHALVA. This money will go towards the new children's centre in Jerusalem and also to research as well as bettering facilities so that more children can stay and even come from other countries around the world, allowing parents have that time to wind-down. Offering overnight stays and extensive leisure facilities, the list is endless. Hence why I am dedicating this year to training for the marathon in March and preparing myself for an emotional journey to summit.
|The New SHALVA children's centre opening 2015!|
If you would like to stay posted with our journey then check out our regular updates and blogs on our Team Caplan website: www.teamcaplan.co.uk
I will be vlogging in the lead up and also be keeping a vlog during my trek! :) NOT FORGETTING THE GO PRO!
All donations welcome...and if you want to join us on the summit THEN JOIN OUR TEAM!!!
Contact me for more details :)