SHALVA was founded in May of 1990 by Kalman and Malki Samuels. Their own experience with the challenge of raising a child with special needs, coupled with a strong desire to help families in similar situations, was the inspiration behind the creation of SHALVA. Believing that the care of children with special needs should not be left to the family alone, Malki and Kalman endeavored to create a therapeutic environment in which children with special needs could thrive and grow. Despite its humble beginnings, today SHALVA is a leader in the field of disability awareness and intervention in the Middle East.
SHALVA is built upon a foundation of love, hope, faith and respect for all human beings. These guiding principles are evident in every SHALVA program. The Hebrew letters shin, lamed, vav, heh comprising the name SHALVA stand for shichrur l'mishpacha v'layeled hamugbal: "liberating the child with special needs and their family." In Hebrew, the word shalva means "peace of mind."
SHALVA provides services to more than 500 participants with special needs, including infants, children, adolescents and young adults via a plethora of tailored programs and round-the-clock therapies, seven days a week. SHALVA accompanies the child and his/her family from birth to adulthood. Individual programs are designed so that each participant reaches his/her full potential. By placing an emphasis on social interaction, the child with special needs can better integrate into the community.
All SHALVA programs and services are designed to help create an individual treatment program for the child while simultaneously strengthening the fabric of the family.