Educating pirate babysitters

Culture & Society

Mesila is an aid and care center, helping refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented individuals in Israel. They provide direct assistance and care for 6,000 children and adults and indirect to 22,000. Mesila's main objective is to advance the wellbeing of children of refugees and asylum seekers in Israel in all circles of life – family, education, health, etc. all in collaboration with the government, civil society and the community. Mesila is partly funded by the Tel Aviv municipality and the Israeli Ministry of Welfare and partly from collaborations with foundations and organaizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Within the framwork of Mesilas Early Childhood and Childcare Unit, Mesila conduct courses, training, and workshops on various subjects for the staff working at what is called 'babysitters'.

The 'babysitter' phenomenon grew out of practical reasons. Mothers had to work, but because there are no institutionalized daycare for children from 0- 3 years, pirate 'babysitters' where established. Being a pirate solution, they are inexpensive 'child care', taking place under severe conditions, with uneducated staff taking care of too many children, becoming more of storage than anything else.  Mesila has identified approximately 100 babysitters in South Tel Aviv and works directly and intensively with 20 of them. Throughout the year Mesila reaches and benefits almost all of them.

The Robert Weil Family Foundation is a proud supporter of Mesila. Our support is directed to education of the staff of the pirate 'babysitters'.