Needs of single moms prove to be constant and complex. Afikim BaNegev seeks to provide spiritual, emotional, and practical support to these women with the goal that they will be encouraged, strengthened, and finally, empowered to function independently.
First we consider the immediate practical needs of each family when they start working with us. We often provide financial support by paying outstanding bills and purchasing food coupons as needed. We also raise support to cover special needs that would otherwise prove impossible for the women to provide for on their own.
Liaison to Government Assistance Programs
Many of our mothers are recent immigrants who lack language skills and have difficulty understanding the nuances of the bureaucratic social welfare system. We accompany them to various government offices in order to help them fill out forms, and we help them to understand and access the benefits allotted to them. We provide translation when necessary, and we act as their advocates as they navigate a system that provides only minimally for their basic needs.
Job Training, Career Development
and Small Businesses
We are working with several of the mothers to help them with training for jobs and career development. We assist in finding support for establishment of small businesses for those with initiative and motivation to pursue their dreams in this way.
Counseling, Parental Guidance,
and Support Groups
Staff and volunteers meet with the mothers one-on-one to assess needs and to offer ongoing support through guidance and counseling. Our staff behavioral psychologist works on Our staff behavioral psychologist works on an individual basis with some of the mothers to provide counseling and to teach parenting skills. She also works one-on-one with some of the children who require special attention. In addition, some of the mothers meet together weekly with a member of the staff for group therapy, with the focus on topics relevant to them, and for mutual encouragement and friendship. The ministry occasionally hosts small women’s conferences to give an opportunity for these women to get away for a day or two from their stressful lives and to learn and be strengthened in a peaceful environment.
Discipleship and Spiritual Encouragement
An important element of all of our interactions with the families is to offer encouragement to those who desire to grow spiritually. In both individual and group settings, we provide scripturally based discipleship training and prayer ministry, which often includes prayer for inner healing.