Hope is in the Air Hope is in the Air Hope is in the Air Hope is in the Air Hope is in the Air For the past eight years, the residents of “Tikva Village” arrive at “Ramat David” Airbase, in order to change the scenery of their ordinary days for a whole week. In nearby school a similar bond was made between the students and the soldiers who help them with their final tests. One base, two stories

Lilach Gonen | Photography: Yonatan Zalk

Every Monday morning seems to be the weekly highlight of the Maintenance Squadron in “Ramat David Airbase. Every Monday morning welcomes the residents of “Tikva Village”, which is a ‘village’ for people with special needs. “The outing of our residents to “Ramat David” is a nice change of scenery which allows them to get a new experience”, says Moshik Gross, Head of “Tikva Village”. “People with special needs aspire to maintain their abilities; they can do that thanks to the activities around the base and the soldiers they interact with”.

Years of Anticipation
The corporation between “Ramat David” and “Tikva Village” has lasted eight years. During this period of time, five residents arrive at the base every week. “I never miss a visit, I come here every time with lots of motivation and I enjoy every minute of it”, says enthusiastically Rochale, one of the participating residence. Each of the residents receives a different activity which is in synched with their abilities, along with professional soldiers. “Deep and meaningful relationships have come out of this project”, says warrant officer Ronen Bahat who has been accompanying this project from the very beginning. There are soldiers who have the patience and ability to work along people with special needs. On the contrary, there are people who just can’t.

“Tikvah Village” residents who volunteer in “Ramat David” Airbase are considered family amongst the members of the engineering unit. As they enter the base with their uniforms, which are decorated with the Technical Formation pin on the dash, pride could be spotted from miles away. “They are already teaching new soldiers how to get the work done”. Bahat adds:”They are truly an inseparable part of our base.”

This shows me how far I can aspire”
Not only do the residents of “Tikvah Village” get to personally interact with “Ramat David” soldiers. Once a week, a number of officers and soldiers of the Technical Formation arrive at a nearby school in order to help students prepare for their final tests. “This portraits how far I can aspire” says one of the students. Thanks to them I do well on my homework, and I can finally believe that I will pass my English exams”.
“Ramat David” is very proud of this project and not just because of the final exams. “We are trying to help the educational system, but mainly want to give them the feeling of success”, says first Lieutenant Tamir Bakal, commander of the Aeronautics Unit of the Maintenance Squadron who is responsible of leading the project this year.

The students of the school have difficulties sin different subjects. “We have 250 students, with 250 stories”, says the vice Principal Hania Frider. “The Students who participate wait desperately for soldier’s assistance”.