ILAN, Israel’s Foundation for the Handicapped, cares for thousands of physically impaired adults and children suffering from diseases that affect the muscles and nerves such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular diseases.
With 40 branches all over Israel, ILAN remains in constant contact with the disabled by providing a broad network for locating and assisting the target population and its special needs, throughout the country, and all sectors of the Israeli population.
When it was founded in 1952, ILAN identified child victims of the polio epidemic and organized mass vaccinations for children in Israel. In time, the State of Israel took up responsibility for providing this service, allowing ILAN to concentrate its efforts and resources on providing assistance and relief for the disabled individual and his/her family. By promoting facilities for the physically disadvantaged and their special needs, and developing services for the disabled within the context of the community, today’s ILAN is a full service organization including:
- A network of over 30 institutions, ranging from kindergartens, special schools and vocational training centers, sheltered workshops, rehabilitation and occupation units, to social centers and sports facilities. In addition, ILAN operates hostels for handicapped adults, thus providing a warm and supportive environment for those who cannot continue living at home, such as, Tamar House in Jerusalem and Kassler Home in Haifa.
- Two large sports centers for handicapped children and adults, as well as rehabilitation-through- employment centers.
- Individual assistance for the purchase of vital rehabilitation accessories, in order to relieve the distress of the families which must cope, on a daily basis, with the care of a handicapped child.
ILAN enables those it cares for to enjoy cultural activities, such as wheelchair dance, ‘youth encounters’, and theatre. Focusing on providing solutions for those special needs which are not catered for by the official authorities, ILAN arranges grants to the disabled and their families for the purchase of essential rehabilitative and educational equipment. The largest part of ILAN’s budget comes from donations by individuals and institutions in Israel and abroad that identify with the organization’s objectives. ILAN is a registered voluntary organization which acts under the government legislation of non-profit charities in Israel, the United States, Canada, England and France as well.
In 2010 Ilan was awarded the Israel Prize for life work – special contribution to the society and to the State. The Israel Prize is the most prestigious prize awarded by the State of Israel and it reflects the States and the people’s appreciation to the thousands of Ilan’s committed volunteers, to the handicapped and their families and for the organization’s employees for their professional, decisive and endless dedicated joint work .