HAMA (Human and Animal Mutual Assistance) is a small NGO founded in 1997, committed to the healing of human violence directed towards people and animals alike through its therapeutic and educational Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) programmes. AAI therapy is a complementary therapeutic approach to conventional medical, psychological, and educational treatment programmes. HAMA works exclusively in the public sector. Hama believes that human wellbeing and animal welfare are interconnected and dependent upon each other. They are not only actively engaged in rescuing abandoned, injured and disfigured animals that have been abused or neglected but also rehabilitating the animals with many becoming important facilitators of human recovery and rehabilitation. HAMA has always been at the forefront of crisis intervention in every national emergency since its foundation. In the current crisis HAMA has experienced a 164% increase in the number of animals they have rescued and reached out to families on the physical and cultural peripheries of Israel society who have been the most severely impacted by COVID-19.
The Scheinberg Relief Fund has enabled HAMA to provide crucial crisis interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic to both humans and animals. The majority of the funds have been directed to ensure the continuation of HAMA’s AAIT (Animal Assisted Intervention Therapy) programmes for at-risk children and families, to provide ongoing support for their permanent rescue-therapy animals and to enable them to continue rescuing neglected animals during the pandemic. The funds have also allowed HAMA to provide food vouchers to families they work with whom have lost their jobs and have no income.