Sderot Media Center is a unique citizens’ news agency that works to provide the international media with on-site coverage of the Qassam rocket terror that has plagued the people of Sderot and the western Negev for eightsyears. What makes Sderot Media Center so unique is its combination of media work and community involvement.
Because Sderot Media Center is located in Sderot, the SMC staff and media personnel experience the rocket terror right with Sderot residents. SMC’s close interaction with the Sderot community makes it possible for Sderot Media Center to facilitate projects and events that meet specific needs of Sderot residents living in a rocket reality.
No government organization or public office in Sderot or the western Negev is currently serving the people of Sderot or the western Negev. Sderot Media Center, therefore has become actively involved in establishing programs and projects for area residents who are psychologically and economically traumatized by the Qassam rocket fire and ‘red alert‘ alarms.
Sderot Media Center also helps mediate between aid organizations and Sderot citizens. The center’s ongoing community projects include the following:
Sderot Community Treatment Theater*
- Providing digital cameras for kids’ photography workshops
- Legal counsel for Sderot residents
- Arranging meetings between Sderot residents and Israeli MKs
- Clown therapy for Sderot kids
- Arranging meetings between foreign government officials and Sderot school principals
- Tree planting in the city
- Photography exhibitions throughout Israel
- School aid distribution
- Press conferences for Sderot community
- Improving bomb shelter conditions
It is important to note that the community work which Sderot Media Center conducts for Sderot provides the basis for accurate coverage and understanding of the rocket situation. By working and speaking with Sderot residents on the ground, SMC compiles investigative reports and human interest stories that document the rocket reality of a people which remains relatively unknown in the international world.
*Sderot Community Treatment Theater
In light of the mental health needs of Sderot, The Sderot Media Center has launched the Sderot Community Treatment Theater, to provide therapeutic community theater treatment for young people who have been diagnosed with symptoms of post traumatic stress syndrome, while working with these young people to present their reality to the people of Israel through the creative means of the theatre.
The therapy program will entail the following:
- Each Sderot Community Treatment Theater will be run by a theater professional, assisted by a professional with an advanced degree in social work, psychology, or psychiatry.
- Each production will recruit 20-30 teenagers who have been diagnosed with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
- Participants will be given the opportunity to perform in Israel and abroad.
- Each participant will be given the chance to share with the world the seemingly untold story of the traumatic human consequence of what it is like to live in Sderot, under brutal siege from Gaza.
- Each performance will be filmed, and footage will be provided for the electronic media and for the film industry, in Israel and abroad.
- The time allotted for each production will be three months.
The vision of the Sderot Community Treatment Theater is that as many as 15 productions can run simultaneously, if funds and sponsors are available.