Shanti House Tel Aviv
Shanti House Tel Aviv was founded in 1984. During those years there were no frameworks in Israel that addressed the needs of “street youth”. Mariuma opened her home voluntarily to these young people, provided a shelter, a hot meal and assistance to find their own strength to help themselves transit off street life move forward to independent life.
A girl who stayed at the home at the time said, “I feel really Shanti here.” When Mariuma asked her about the meaning of the word “Shanti,” the girl replied, “Love and tranquility” in Sanskrit. One of the boys in the house took black spray paint and wrote on the wall, “Welcome to Shanti House.”
The children chose the name “Shanti House” and it became well known among the youngsters who needed help.
For many years Shanti House operated from a rented house in NeVe Tzedek.
Since then, Shanti House has assisted more than 54,000 youth at-risk and in immediate danger.
In February 2018, a new permanent home was inaugurated thanks to the contribution of the Tel Aviv Municipality, as well as Marian and Doron Livnat’s generous donation. The official opening ceremony was held in February 2018 and attended by Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, Haim Katz Minister of Welfare and Social Services, Isaac Hertzog Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, the Livnat family and others.
The House cares for up to 64 youth at risk and in immediate danger aged 14-21 staying at the House permanently.
In addition every year we assist hundreds of youth at risk who reside in the house from 24 hours to a week. These youngsters return to their families or the homes/institutions from which they ran away, following mediation and reaching an understanding with the parents or guardians. Most of them come for a shower, hot meal and a bed.
Others reside in the house for a transition period of one week to three months, until our staff evaluate and relocate them to the best place suited for them. Their acceptance into Shanti House prevents them from ending up on the streets, with all of its dangers.
Shanti House is located in Tel Aviv, 150 meters from the shore.
The colorful house was designed by Mariuma, providing youths with a warm, aesthetic and respectful welcome and creates a family atmosphere.
For many homeless youngsters and youth in immediate danger, Shanti House is the last chance they will ever have for a warm and loving home before descending into life on the streets.
Shanti House is the tipping point in their lives – the crossroads between a life of despair, violence and crime and a life of thriving and positive living.
Desert Shanti Youth Village
Desert Shanti Youth Village, located in the Negev, opened in 2009 in order to provide a solution for youth at risk in Israel’s southern region.
Inaugurated in an official and dignified ceremony on November 23rd, 2009 – Ben Gurion Day, and was attended by the late Israel’s President Mr. Shimon Peres, the former Minister of Welfare and Social Services Mr. Yitzhak Herzog, Mr. and Mrs. Francis and Marie-France Minkoff, and many other contributors.
This Village was established thanks to the support and help of the Ministry of Transport, Negev Galilee Bureau, Jewish National Fund and others.
The Village constitutes a first of its kind model in Israel and throughout the world, and every year addresses the needs of hundreds of youth at risk from all over the country, especially southern Israel.
While constructing the Village great emphasis was placed on green building, use of environment-friendly materials, water recycling, and the capability to utilize solar power.
The Shanti House Village is located 5 km. from Sde Boker. It extends over 540 dunams (54 hectares), 150 of which are built up.
Up to 50 youth aged 14-21 reside in the village who were forced to leave their homes due to physical, verbal, sexual or emotional violence, abuse, neglect, etc. In the future there is a plan to expand the Village so it will house up to 100 youth at risk
The Desert as a therapeutic tool
The desert and its nature are central motifs in the therapeutic techniques offered to the youth.
The desert allows the development of innovative treatment methods such as therapeutic horseback riding, agricultural therapy, hydrotherapy, involvement in the Village’s social activities and no less importantly connection to the developing community of the South and contributing back to the local population.
Despite its location, Shanti House residents have easy access to schools, hospitals, and community services and youth employment.
Desert Shanti House, which was designed by Mariuma, is breathtakingly beautiful, colorful with a multi-cultural design, providing the youngsters with a warm, aesthetic and respectful welcome, that creates a pleasant family atmosphere.
Thousands of youth are at immediate risk. For them, Desert Shanti House Youth Village is a last resort and a one-time opportunity for rehabilitation and the establishment of a new life before succumbing to street life.