YOUTH LEADERSHIP AND VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMS
Youngsters living in the periphery are usually viewed as "clients" of volunteer programs, rather than people who can engage in volunteer activity and enjoy its proven impact on personal empowerment and leadership capability. Minority groups in particular can benefit from volunteering and leadership programs that connect youth to the community's values and help build their identity, both as individuals and as members of society.
Ne’urim ("Youth"), a unique project to promote equal opportunity and excellence in Druze society, aims to equip youth with tools for realizing their potential and invites them to take part in shaping the future of the community. Youth centers that operate in 16 Druze localities in the Galilee offer a range of informal education programs to narrow learning gaps, nurture academic excellence, and promote community involvement.
In addition, the project helps young women – high school graduates and students - develop their capabilities while they work in the centers as youth counselors or coordinators of community initiatives and serve as role models for the teenage girls.
The success of this model has led to its expansion to another ethnic minority – the Bedouin population of the Negev. The new program, called Shorashim ("roots" in Hebrew), was launched in two communities and is planned to reach 10 within the next few years.
A different approach to increasing the social awareness of youth and their interest in volunteering is taken by The Next Step program. This program operates in high schools and boarding schools in the periphery and includes introduction to the theory and practice of volunteering and leadership, as well as actual community work.
Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco
Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Israel Council of Youth Organizations & KKL
National Insurance Institute Funds