Café Embrace - A Social Business Venture:
Café Embrace is a social business café. The café is a therapeutic milieu to help survivors of terror attacks overcome their PTSD. By way of utilizing the myriad of tasks associated in the operation of a café, survivors will learn coping and resiliency skills that will give them tools to battle their PTSD by way of gainful employment.
According to Hila Barzilai, Director of the Sderot Trauma Center, some of the symptoms of PTSD include seclusion, avoidance, difficulties in daily functioning, and difficulty traveling -as for many years the roads have been a real threat, and people attacked have little means of defending themselves, increasing their feelings of helplessness. People with PTSD develop fears of leaving their “safe space”, and many people move their whole lives to the safe room including eating and sleeping. Their trauma becomes permanent, and a significant portion of their treatment involves at a first stage, aiding them in regaining basic daily activities, followed by fuller functioning.
The establishment of Café Embrace will make a significant contribution to residents suffering from PTSD and for those who have difficulty in functioning as a result of the security situation. Through the Café they will have interaction with other people and will experience feelings of effectiveness, aiding them in regaining feelings of control, something very often negatively impacted by traumatic events. They will feel significant, feel satisfaction from their work, and will reconnect with their strengths and abilities.
The Café will be an inclusive place of employment, where they will be part of a group of workers, who can be a source of support. This is extremely important to people who have experienced trauma, and who often feel lonely, and will aid them in normalizing their situation while being supported and assisted by the Café’s professional staff.
Partnership with the Sderot Municipality
The Municipality of Sderot awarded Operation Embrace a rent-free structural space to the café. Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi is a dedicated partner and cheerleader for Café Embrace