Yedidim for youth and society

Founded in 1991, Yedidim's sole mission is working towards the betterment of Israeli society with the goal that all Israeli youth, regardless of their background, have the opportunity to realize their full potential.

Location: Israel , Jerusalem
Year founded: 1991

Description

For 25 years, Yedidim has worked to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people in Israel. Through a range of programs, the organization annually supports approximately 3,500 children, youth and young adults in 120 communities throughout Israel, and engages young adults with leadership potential in local and national social action/community service projects. Yedidim's unique program methodology has gained international attention and is designed to reshape the lives of youth and young adults at-risk so that they may become proud, contributing members of Israeli society.

Founded in 1991, Yedidim's sole mission is working towards the betterment of Israeli society with the goal that all Israeli youth, regardless of their cultural and socio-economic background, have the opportunity to realize their full potential. Yedidim works in the realms of life skills & employability training, prevention and intervention of risk behaviors such as school dropout, delinquency and other self-destructive behaviors.

Yedidim exists to empower children, youth, and young adults from diverse cultures and socio-economic backgrounds by helping them to fully integrate into Israeli society. Yedidim systematically fosters in marginalized youth a sense of self-worth, belonging and self-confidence, thereby providing the at-risk population of Israel the tools it needs to flourish.

Beit Yedidim

About

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Beit Yedidm is a multi-purpose community educational drop-in center for at-risk children and youth in depressed communities. It is a retreat when kids learn, develop friendships, and receive important life skills. For many it is a safe, supervised space where they hang out, receive help with homework, and participate in socio-cultural and educational activities, thereby keeping them off the street and out of harm's way. For others it is an island of safety - literally saving them from danger and neglect. Staffed by a team of seasoned professional and tens of volunteers, Beit Yedidim offers disadvantaged young people the motivation, confidence, skills and tools they need to reach their academic and personal potential.

The on-going support, educational enrichment and extra-curricular activities aim to widen their horizons so that they may see their future in a new light.

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Program Description

In Ashdod, Kiryat Gat & Beersheva over 450 marginalized children and youth receive one-on-one attention, educational enrichment and tutorial assistance daily. Beginning with a home visit, a tailor-made "Personal Advancement Program" is designed for each participant in order to respond to their unique needs, challenges, interests and strengths. In order to be able to participate in the extra-curricular activities offered, they are to come to Beit Yedidim with their school bags and homework. In this way, they are not only in a safe, supervised environemnt from 3 to 8 pm, but dozens of professionally trained volunteers are on hand to make sure they get the help they need to ahieve their academic and personal potential.

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Demonstrated Need

Approximately 35% of children in Israel are living under the poverty line; most of them live in disadvantaged and outlying areas. Often times, these children have parents who work 2 or 3 jobs just to put food on the table - so their needs for emotional support, warmth adult supervision, and help with homework get neglected. These disadvantaged youth have little chance at leading normal lives and without proper intervention will not reach their potential.

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Program Accomplishments

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How do you measure the success of your program?

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Maagaley Achrayut

About

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Program Goals:

  • expose youth to their options for army or national service
  • educate them about various pre-service programming
  • increase their motivation to experience a meaningful service by contributing to Israel's continuity
  • provide them with the tools to become responsible, moral and productive citizens of Israel

Individual Goals:

  • instill Zionist, Jewish and social values
  • foster leadership by providing necessary tools and skills to be a strong leader

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Program Description

The target population of the program are 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students from Israel's social and geographic periphery. The program targets both boys and girls, with an emphasis on immigrants and children of immigrants, largely of Ethiopian descent.

Program Components:

  • weekly group activities during school hours
  • inter-disciplinary staff meetings about every student to discuss how best to counsel and guide them
  • activities on both regional and national levels including: leadership seminars, activities promoting teamwork, army preparation
  • development of social responsibility through group volunteer work
  • challenging and experiential army preparation workshops
  • personal mentosrhips to guide and support the program particiaptns on an individual level

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Demonstrated Need

In recent years there has been a change in young people's motivation and desire to serve in the Israeli Defense Force or national service. The percentage of youth enlistment has been declining as time goes on and currently only 67% of Jewish youth enlist. It is estimated that the enlistment rate will decrease to 46% by 2020. The 'Serving Our People' (Maagaley Achrayut) program has been designed to motivate young people ages 17 and 18 to serve their country. Studies show that a meanigful IDF or national service is a significant means to achieving social movility and ensuring the future success of disadvantaged young people from the social and geographic periphery in Israel.

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Program Accomplishments

A study that was conducted in 2013 amongst the participants of the 'Serving Our People' Program found that 85% of the alumni dtated that they will continue to do additional army preparation programs as compared to a 27% positive resposne rate before commencing the program. The 'Serving our People' program has partnered closely with the MInistry of Education for over 10 years.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

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Sayeret

About

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

This program is designed with the goal of lessening the dropout rates among youth ages 13-16 and to enable the youth to have positive experiences in their academic framework and provide them with the skills they need to succeed academically and socially, both in school and as a part of the society at large.

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Program Description

Children and youth ages 6-16 are referred to the program by their schools or the Ministry of Welfare. The program is divided into 2 subgroups. In the group for younger children, we focus on academic and emotional support; the older group targets youth who are in the process of dropping or failing out of their academic framework.

The program consists of:

  • weekly one-on-one mentorship
  • group activities once every three weeks
  • workshops and activities such as: environmental awareness, sports and martial arts, health, arts and crafts, music, etc.
  • learning center which offers academic assistance to students who need it
  • field trips and holiday activities

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Demonstrated Need

In Israel, 70% of the students who drop out of school are not integrated in an alternative educational framework. In 2011-2013 close to 540,000 youth grades 7-12 dropped out of school. It is imperative that these children and youth be integrated in alternative frameworks so that they do not end up being involved in crime, on welfare, and population Israeli jail system.

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Program Accomplishments

An external research study was conducted in 2012 among participants of the program. The research points to an improvement in academic achievement as well as increased ability to handle difficulty. The participants stated that they were coming to school more and that their test grades had improved since the beginning of the program.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

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Sela

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

  • To enhance the social functionality and integration of immigrant and veteran Israeli girls-at-risk at a particularly vulnerable stage in their personal, physical and sexual development.
  • To positively affect the self-image and self-esteem of marginalized immigrant girls in a way that will make them more confident in their own capabilities and strengths, thereby increasing the chances that they will reach their potential.
  • To ameliorate the perception of immigrant girls' future prospects as productive members of Israeli society; this includes feeling a sense of belonging to Israel and confidence to Israeli society.

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Program Description

‘Sela’ reshapes the lives of girls-at-risk. Girls between the ages of 13 to 17 who have been flagged by community social workers or school professionals partake in an intensive program that combines mentorship, group work, and community service. There are 28 groups with about 400 participants and 400 mentors.

After an initial home visit, the professionally trained group coordinated matches the teen up with a mentor and together they build a tailor-made Personal Advancement Program (P.A.P.) which is designed to help each girl identify her strengths, talents, challenges and interests. By offering the girls the opportunity to associate with successful female role models who are close in age, the youths' self-image is positively affected and she has the guidance and support necessary to choose positive routes to her development. Parallel to the one-on-one weekly personal attention, they participate in orgranized group activities ehich provide them with a supportive, positive framewrk and a sense of belonging. Throughout the year, they also participate in experiential activites, educational field trips and community service projects.

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Demonstrated Need

SELA is aimed at girls, between the ages of 12-18 who have been identified by school educational consultants and community social workers as having psycho-social, educational and/or cultural integration challenges. Approximately 50% are from the FSU and 30% are from Ethiopia. On average, approximately 40% of SELA participants live in single-parent households. Approximately one-fifth of the girls work in the afternoons (either to help with family income or to help support themselves). SELA operates in 20 communities across the country and serves 300 adolescent girls through the tireless efforts of 300 young women who serve as mentors.

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Program Accomplishments

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How do you measure the success of your program?

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Sikuim

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

  • To avoid the re-occurrence of criminal activity among criminal youth ages 12-18.
  • To help immigrant youth negotiate the judicial system by helping them gain access to information, advise them about their rights and responsibilities and guide them through the process.
  • To lead immigrant youth-at-risk through a process that will raise their self-image and increase their confidence in their abilities.
  • To set attainable yet challenging goals and monitor/encourage their progress. In this way, the participants feel that they have clear direction and support from people who care about their future.

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Program Description

The Sikuim model combines mentorship, group work & community service. The combination of the one-on-one weekly attention and group work is meant to be a source of ongoing support, love and warmth as well as a framework which provides them with practical tools that help them deal with their complex issues.

This program is a unique strategic partnership between philanthropies, the police, government bodies, local municipalities, and NGOs. Creating the culture of cooperation required to make Sikuim a success is not self-evident and is one of our most important contributions to this project.


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Demonstrated Need

In Israel, close to 30% of all new juvenile files opened at the police are of new immigrants. This number is more than 2.5 times the representation of new immigrant youth in the general community. The 'system' is complicated - it is frightening and overwhelming for everyone but it is particularly so for immigrant youth who lack the basic understanding, skills and tools to navigate the system.

Without an effective prevention and intervention mechanism in place at this stage, 75% of these youth risk being trapped on a path which leads them to choose between 2 routes. They will either experiment with different kinds of criminal activity or they will gain expertise in a specific crime category which will essentially represent the beginning of their careers as criminals.

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Program Accomplishments

In 2013, an external longitudinal study was conducted on participants of the Sikuim program up to 5 years after completion. The findings were overwhlmingly positive and showed that the large majority (79%) of those who completed the Sikuim program did not become repeat offenders up to 5 years later; 100% of Sikuim alumni are currntly integrated in normal societal frameworks and 56% of alumni of drat age have enlisted - that is higher than the national average. Considering the starting point of this population, that figure is particularly striking. For the complete study please contact: [email protected]

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How do you measure the success of your program?

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Strengthening Civic Life

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

  • Providing knowledge - life skill acquisition for optimal integration into Israeli society.
  • Accessing rights - aiding young adults who have completed their national service in exploring and exercising all their rights as well as connecting them to relevant community services.
  • Education - guidance for integration into higher education of relevant vocational training. The program provides guidance for completing secondary education if necessary.
  • Employment - integration and persistence in employment including technological training.

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Program Description

The Strenthening Civic Life program seeks to provide a response to the acute need felt by recently released soldiers and girls who have finished national service in pursuing their successful integration into academia and the workforce. The program focuses on lone soldiers and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who do not have the benefit of family support. The yearlong program focuses on acquiring skills needed for successful integration into the workforce, including: vocational workshops, informative sessions about academic institutions, resume writing, computer courses, and learning "soft skills" which will help them in the workforce as well as in life.

Framework:

  • Individual mentorship - this includes vocational guidance as well as a tailor-made personal advancement plan for each participant.
  • group sessions - once a month, including occupational guidance, skill acquisition and tools for obtaining employment and education.
  • Training mentors - there is a personal and group training session once a month.

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Demonstrated Need

Target Population:

Young adults at risk aged 18-25 both during and after military or national service, who fit one or more of the following criteria:

  • of disadvantaged social, economic, and family background
  • immigrants and/or children of immigrants who experience difficulties with absorption and/or integration into society
  • without economic and/or emotional support from family or otherwise
  • without occupational and basic life skills

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Program Accomplishments

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How do you measure the success of your program?

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Striving for a Better Future

About

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

  • integration into the workforce
  • strengthening self-esteem, self-confidence, and sense of self-empowerment among the participants
  • providing tools and skills including: parenting skills with an emphasis on family budget management skills, decision-making, constructing a framework and support system, and problem solving.

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Program Description

The Program Model:

[Individual and group guidance - 10 months:]

  • Recruitment and selection of participants - 3 months
  • Preparatory workshop for integration into the workforce and basic computer course - 4 weeks
  • Job search - 3 weeks
  • Vocational counseling - 2 sessions
  • Integration into the workforce
    • Personal development workshops
    • employment training
  • monitoring and evaluation - monthly

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Demonstrated Need

Target Population: young adults aged 18-35 with one or more of the following characteristics:

  • unemployed or underemployed (unskilled, temporary, or occasional work)
  • without economic and/or emotional support from family or otherwise
  • without occupaitonal and basic life skills

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Program Accomplishments

The pilot's evaluation demonstrated an 85% success rate of integration into the workforce upon completion of the program and 80% retention after one year.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

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