10 Helping Discharged IDF Soldiers from Disadvantaged Backgrounds Every year, approximately 1,200 soldiers from disadvantaged backgrounds are discharged from the IDF only to return to their high-risk environments, and have difficulties transitioning back to civilian life. Many do not have a home to return to or family upon whom they can rely. They return to the social, emotional and financial challenges of their old lives. Amit LaDerech (“A Friend Alongside”) helps these former soldiers at a critical juncture in their lives. Nikita had a criminal record, no high school diploma and no place to call home. A Friend Alongside worked with him and mentored him in different areas. As a result, Nikita was able to expunge his criminal record, find a job and receive his high school diploma. Today, Nikita is studying to obtain his law degree and volunteers with youth at risk. “A Friend Alongside” integrates these former soldiers from disadvantaged backgrounds into civilian life by strengthening their personal skills and abilities which helps them become contributing members of society. “A Friend Alongside” helps these former soldiers attain stable employment, higher education, confidence and self-realization by mentoring them, guiding them, and helping them with seminars and scholarships. HOT made its first grant in June 2017 to finance the training of 15 additional mentors to guide the former soldiers. There is no cookie cutter way to successfully mentor former soldiers with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Each mentor is taught to recognize the uniqueness of the former soldier’s needs and are in touch with their mentees on a daily basis to help them gain the tools to integrate into civilian life. HOT would like to assist “A Friend Alongside” in their efforts. Please consider: • $16,560 for 10 hours of therapy for 24 mentees (10% of mentees) @ $69 per mentee per session • $25,920 for 14 separate workshops (ranging from managing budgets and bank accounts and living independently to more specialty skills) for 120 former soldiers @ $216 per soldier • $26,886 for mentor training for 120 mentors @ $224 per mentor