For the third straight year, a procession of over 300 marchers, including children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities under the care of ALEH (www.aleh.org), their families, caregivers, and volunteers and friends from around the globe, set out from ALEH’s Jerusalem facility to cross over the Jerusalem Chords Bridge in a powerful and symbolic display to encourage the integration of Israel’s disabled community within Israeli society.
The festivities, which took place on Wednesday, March 27, were capped off with singing, dancing, and a ceremony during which over 500 balloons were released into the air to signify the buoyant spirit and unrestricted potential of Israel’s disabled children.
“As Israel’s largest network of residential facilities for children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities, ALEH is at the forefront of the movement to promote awareness and acceptance of Israel’s special needs population within the community at large,” said Shlomit Grayevsky, the founding director of ALEH Jerusalem and Assistant Director General of ALEH.
“Thanks to ALEH’s innovative programming, severely disabled children of all ages are able to live much like their non-disabled peers, are accepted by a wider segment of the population, and develop far beyond the boundaries of their initial prognoses. Gatherings like this one have curative powers in that they both benefit our severely disabled children and heal the world.”
Known as “ALEH Marches Forward,” the successful event was the organization’s third annual Jerusalem march to increase public awareness of the disabled. v