Eyal Edry, Moshe Edree, and Rafi Edry’s Vision for the Future of Social Work

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The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a ton of curveballs to various industries. From manufacturing plants to transportation companies – every organization has had to brainstorm new ways of continuing business operations.

But one of the biggest blows of the novel coronavirus has landed on the social sector. Eyal Edry, the founder of the Ahinoam Association for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities, believes it’s high time for government authorities and the public to step up and help non-profit organizations.

The Importance of Social Work in Today’s World

The Importance of Social Work in Today’s World

Welfare agencies and non-profit organizations are an integral part of modern society. They’re essential for the upliftment of local communities across the globe. They’re often the first ones to come to the rescue of the public during any crisis.

The Ahinoam Association is a prime example of how non-profit organizations are indispensable to the social fabric of a country. Under the leadership of Eyal Edry and his brothers, Moshe Edree and Refael aka Rafi Edry, the organization has been actively helping children and youngsters living in Israel’s social and geographic periphery.

The organization has implemented various measures, including a long-term mentoring program, to identify and support at-risk youth in the periphery. They help these individuals reach their potential by polishing their skills and developing a personalized work plan.

Volunteers of the Ahinoam Association handhold the youth for nearly a decade – from high school and graduation to their eventual integration into the job market. The organization even provides financial assistance to students from low-income families.

Eyal Edry, Moshe Edree, and Refael Edry have also initiated various projects for peripheral development in Israel. Their efforts have resulted in the establishment of an elementary school library in Safed. They’re actively involved in the infrastructural development of welfare institutions in the periphery as well.

In a country like Israel, where more than 31% of children live in poverty, organizations like the Ahinoam Association are a godsend. It’s easy to imagine how the social fabric will fall apart if these welfare agencies cease functioning.

The Impact of the Pandemic on Non-Profit Organizations

Social welfare organizations thrive on public donations from businesses and individuals. But the pandemic-driven economic slowdown has caused a severe decline in donations. That means these organizations are struggling to stay afloat and move forward with their initiatives.

At the same time, layoffs, furloughs, and pay cuts have skyrocketed poverty levels across several communities. In Israel, there’s been a 14.5% increase in the number of households experiencing economic hardships.

Also, the rise of online education and remote work has highlighted the digital divide that’s been plaguing low-income families. The absence of personal computers and an internet connection deprives these families of the chance to build a better life.

The glaring digital divide and poverty levels have amplified the importance of social welfare initiatives. But in the absence of adequate funds, non-profit organizations can’t do much to alleviate these problems.

It’ll create a deadlock where both welfare organizations and the community fights for survival.

Resolving the Deadlock

Resolving the Deadlock

Non-profit organizations have the willingness and manpower to implement community welfare programs. What they lack is adequate funding. On the other hand, the government often has surplus funds. But it lacks the motivation to work at the grassroots level.

Eyal Edry, Moshe Edree, and Refael Edry believe that social work will thrive only when the government joins hands with non-profit organizations.

Under this framework, the government is responsible for outlining welfare policies and providing non-profit organizations with the power and resources to implement these policies. While government authorities will oversee the implementation, the groundwork will be done by volunteers from welfare agencies.

This kind of symbiotic relationship is vital for meeting the growing demand of the social sector due to rising poverty and unemployment levels.

Another effective measure is to increase tax credits for donations to non-profit organizations. It’ll encourage more people to step forward and ultimately, help amplify funding for these organizations.

Social Work in a Post-Pandemic World

Even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the importance of social welfare initiatives will continue to increase. Non-profit organizations will play a key role in helping underprivileged communities regain their footing in society.

It’s up to administrative authorities and policymakers to empower these organizations with adequate resources. From allocating sufficient budgets to increasing tax credits for donations – there’s plenty that governments need to do to secure the future of social work.

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