ELIYA (The Israel Organization for Blind Children) operates several kindergartens in Israel for children with blindness or visual impairments that have been cooperating with the Center for several years. Volunteers from the Center visit the kindergartens each week with guide dog puppies, retired guide dogs, or career change dogs. The children have the opportunity to pet the dogs and experience the companionship that dogs offer. We believe that developing a trusting relationship with dogs at a young age will prepare these children for a relationship with a companion dog at home, and encourage them to adopt a guide dog in the distant future.
A new ELIYA kindergarten opened in Rehovot two weeks ago, and Brig. Gen. (ret) Moti Regev, a long-time volunteer at the Center and founder of the Canvelo cycling club, and his son Ofer volunteered to visit the kindergarten. Ofer visits the kindergarten each week with Daria, a retired breeding dog who lives with the Regev family and is Ofer's companion. Volunteering at the ELIYA kindergarten is Daria's second career, and she does the job happily. Ofer gives the children warm hugs and a ride in his wheelchair, while Daria does her part by offering children the cuddly love and warmth that dogs have to give!
|Ofer and Daria in the ELIYA Kindergarten|