Arab-Israelis are already one of the country’s most vulnerable populations. For Arab-Israelis with disabilities, their struggles are exponentially greater—not only do Arabs with disabilities suffer from prejudices in their own communities; there are also far fewer resources available to help them in Israel. That’s why JDC created Masira, an initiative to unify and strengthen efforts within Arab society to help integrate and empower disabled Arab-Israelis in their communities. Since it was established in 2006, Masira has helped organize the work of 11 non-governmental organizations devoted to work with disabled people, implementing more than a dozen community programs all over Israel. These projects have touched more than 30,000 Israeli-Arabs with disabilities and their families.
As an estimated 250,000 Arab-Israelis suffer from at least one disability, the need for a focused effort to increase disability services is crucial. Masira works to strengthen its NGO partners, adapt information about disabilities rights and services for Arab-Israelis and advocate an attitude shift in Arab society towards people with disabilities. Though each project under the Masira umbrella has targeted a different specific need, they all aim to help Arab-Israelis overcome the major challenges they face every day in Israel.
For questions, contact Soaaud Diab at SoaaudD@jdc.org.