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For Whom the Bell Tolls

It seems that it’s harder for all of us in Israel in 2016 to make ends meet. Families with a good income, who in the past knew how to keep their heads above water, today simply aren’t able to plan ahead and budget cleverly. The middle class is being worn down, and today more than ever, they need economic guidance for how to turn their minus into plus.

Established in 2002, Paamonim is a leading organization promoting financial responsibility across Israel. Paamonim provides services to thousands of Israeli families in financial distress each year.

Here is the story of one family: Family Levi married with 4 children, from Kfar- Saba, has undergone a year-long process with Paamonim. The father of the family, Zion says:

“We are a couple, luckily, that is earning well. And yet each month we felt the hole in our budget grow and grow. We weren’t managing to take control of our expenses. When we turned to Paamonim, we feared they might not help us because our situation, at least in terms of income, is good. But just the opposite happened. Within a few days of the referral, a representative from the organization was already sitting with us in a first attempt to assess the problem.

“After two or three weeks, our dedicated mentor arrived at our house. At first, he would come once every two weeks, and later on, once every month. Already at our first meeting, as we went over our list of income and expenditures, debts and loans, we began to understand the full picture and identify with almost complete accuracy where every shekel was going. Our mentor consulted with professionals that work with Paamonim to solve every problem, ranging from non-bank credit cards (which we cancelled on his advice), to ongoing loans, and creating order in our family’s finances, which I admit, was one big mess. Step by step, we have progressed in implementing the plan that we put together with our mentor, in order to balance our budget.”

Zion had thought that the mentor would help remotely, by giving some tips on what to do and what not to do - but to his surprise, the family enjoyed having a close and personal relationship with him. “The guidance we received wasn’t just about helping us with a series of financial decisions - he even came with us to a meeting at the bank, which helped open doors that had until now been closed to us. Just mentioning the name of the organization brought a smile to the banker’s face.”

“The success that we have had in moving from the point of crisis to being able to balance our finances is all thanks to Paamonim. My wife and I have since recommended other couples we know to contact Paamonim. Some of them are now in the middle of the process, while others unfortunately felt ashamed to reach out for help. It’s crucial to point out that there is no place for shame here. Firstly, the entire process is discreet, and beyond that, there is no shame in saying - I need help. Many

people around me are asking themselves: ‘where the hell has my money disappeared to’ and many of them prefer not to find out the answer. We chose a different path.

“Our life has changed from one extreme to the other. I admit, it is very difficult to maintain. But thanks to our mentor, we know how to manage our finances better and to be more aware. After years of living in minus and with never-ending debts, we are finally managing to balance our expenses and even managing to save!”

Paamonim reports that last year tens of thousands of families turned to them for assistance, information and guidance. Most of them successfully completed their long-term mentoring process. The organization is proud of the large number of mentors and advisers who are available to families – around 3,000 volunteers help families throughout the country to manage their finances correctly.

A few words about Paamonim:

Established in 2002, Paamonim is a leading organization promoting financial responsibility across Israel. With the help of its professionally trained volunteers, Paamonim provides a wide range of solutions to thousands of Israeli families and individuals each year through its targeted economic recovery programs, and offers information and tools for the general public interested learning the best methods for managing their household finances. Paamonim believes that with the right information and tools, everyone has the power to take control of their finances.

Paamonim is constantly developing and adapting new and innovative strategies in order to provide the most effective services to our participants.

"It is important for us to be constantly alert and to give each family the counseling and guidance that is suitable for them," says uriel lederberg cfo at Paamonim. “Everything we do is done on an entirely voluntary basis. We want to help more families, and further expand the organization's services for the benefit of families in Israel, strengthening not only individual families, but the economic situation of Israel as a whole. We ask anyone who is suitably qualified to join the Paamonim family and take part in this wonderful work. There is nothing like the sense of satisfaction when a family has completed the process, leaving behind distress and hardship to finally feeling a sense of relief and stability.”

Paamonim is already well recognized nonprofit organization throughout Israel. It has a catalogue of success stories, with many families benefitting from the organization’s services. Paamonim is now expanding its activities, and is looking for more volunteers. We went along to check it out. http://www.paamonim.org/en/
Last modified onThursday, 08 December 2016 16:46

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