Krembo Wings: One Person’s Experiences Turns Into a Youth Movement
The story behind Krembo Wings began when Adi Altschuler, a 12 year old, was volunteering. She was working with Kfir Koby, who at the time was a preschooler, just 4 years of age. Kfir Koby had cerebral palsy, which made it difficult to socialize with other kids her age.
Over time, Adi had the opportunity to really get to know Kfir. What started as a volunteer opportunity turned into something much more – a real friendship. While working with Kfir, one thing that really struck was how few opportunities that Kfir, or really most kids and teens with Cerebral Palsy, didn’t get many opportunities to socialize and communicate with other kids.
In Israel, that’s a really big deal. For the 250,000 Israeli kids that are part of TZOFIM (Israel Scouts) or another teen youth movements, building deep friendships with your peers is just part of the culture and lifestyle. That’s why, for Adi, she was so impacted by the fact kids with Cerebral Palsy would never experience that.
4 years later and already onto her next volunteer opportunity, Adi was lucky enough to reconnect with Claudia Kobi, who also happened to be Kfir’s mother.
One thing led to another, and idea behind what would become Krembo Wings had germinated. Adi and Claudia would later become co-founders of a new type of youth movement in Israel, one that was built on a foundation of inclusion.
Krembo Wings would become a place where all youth in Israel. It didn’t matter if you loved sports and hiking or grew up with Cerebral Palsy. You could have grown up in Haifa, Jerusalem, or a Druze, Christian, Bedouin, or Muslim village. At Krembo Wings, everyone was invited to show up, socialize, and make friends, regardless of your background, city, of psychical condition.
Today, Krembo Wings has grown into a successful organization with over 60 branches spread all over Israel and thousands of youth members. For Israeli youth ages 7 – 22 who have a disability and those who don’t, Krembo Wings offers a place where you can meetup for a day for socializing, fun, and good conversation.
It’s not just the kids who get to experience a Krembo Wings meetup. Together with the kids are the counselors, who are also teens and some of which also have a disability. Together with the participants, the counselors help create the contagious energy that lies at the heart of this movement. The participants, volunteers, and even the parents feel part of the community.
In 2018, Krembo Wings received an invitation to the United Nations to give a talk about their movement and was recognized with the status of Special Advisor to the United Nations (ECOSOC). Krembo Wings was recognized for its innovation and impact in Israel and the world and has been hosted by delegations from around the world.
For the kids who participate in Krembo Wings, the results speak for themselves. A lot of them perform better at school, are more social, and feel greater self-esteem.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit Krembo Wings and experience a meet-up first had, don’t miss it! It’s all inclusive, and you’re invited.