Lev Ha'Ir Community Administration

The Lev Ha'Ir Community Administration in Jerusalem designs and coordinates community rehabilitation programmes.
Last updated: March 2012

Community Administrations in Jerusalem are intended to design, coordinate, integrate or operate the programmes of all the services on the neighbourhood level. Lev Hair administration has been implementing in Mahane Yehuda market for the past 9 years a project called “Basket Children”. The idea behind the project is to provide a protective and educational framework for "shopping bag children". "Shopping bag children" are minors who work in the famous Jerusalem market. There are dozens of them, almost all under the age of 16. Between 40 and 60 of these shopping bag children work in the market during the winter season, while in the summer there are around 150 or more. Their working days can run to 16 hours and their salaries range from NIS 80 to NIS 100 a day. None of them are Jewish. Around two-thirds of them are from nearby East Jerusalem (their parents have Israeli residence papers) and the rest are from the territories. One thing they have in common is severe economic distress.

Activities include:

  • Weekly meetings for the children in the Community Administration where they engage in “free” play-time and also join a variety of enriching activities about the Hebrew language, computing and photography.
  • Individual and small group discussions with social workers in the Market.
  • Two trips during the year.
The Basket Children’s Programme has regular contact with the police in order to find ways to deal, in a positive and legal manner, with the problems that emerge from the employment of minor children.

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