|STATUS||Married with 6 children|
|OCCUPATION||Tour guide at Dialogue in the Dark and|
Na’lagaat; two blind experience Centres
|EDUCATION||Certificate in Massage Therapy|
and studies Jewish texts regularly
|GUIDE DOG||Nike – female Yellow Labrador|
Avi made Aliyah from Ethiopia aged eight. He was diagnosed with glaucoma at 12 and lost his eyesight completely at 19. Today, at 37, he is married with six children, and as well as the two tour guide jobs he holds, he also lectures and talks to various groups all over Israel about blindness and disability and the acceptance of disabled people into society. His motivation for what he does is inspired by his unwavering Jewish faith, his fellow humans and himself.
Avi is also a talented ‘elite’ runner. He has taken part in many competitions both in and outside of Israel, culminating in the 2019 London Marathon which he completed in 3.07 hours. “I’ve never been to London before, and I know that it is the capital of sport and it’s a dream come true to be travelling there.” His goal is to return to the UK to compete in the London Marathon and beat his previous time.
Avi has, previously, had two guide dogs from the Centre, but during his partnership with his second guide dog, his wife developed a severe allergy to the dog, and he had to give it up. During the time between his second dog and his third and current guide dog, his wife received treatment which allowed her to successfully recover from her allergy and allowed Avi to request another dog.
Avi was one of the first clients to train at the Centre after the Coronavirus lockdown was lifted. “I’m very happy and relieved to be here to partner with Nike since for my work I have to travel all over Israel by public transport. When the Coronavirus pandemic started, I had to stop travelling and continued my lecturing via Zoom.”
“Having Nike now, allows me to travel all over Israel to work and lecture. Nike will also be able to accompany me when I participate in marathons around the world. She will also be coming with me when I attend class to improve my English and help me to gain future employment opportunities. Nike is a young but calm dog. I think that we will do very well together.”
Nike and I will do very well together. She will help make my dreams come true.
A full guide dog partnership costs the Israel Guide Dog Centre £45,000 and our clients nothing, as we give them this service free of charge. To help us provide more trained guide dogs for people like Avi please donate today.