Kaima Organic Farm

Kaima Organic Farm empowers Israeli teens who have dropped out of school to create positive, powerful change and turn their lives around through a program of hands-on organic farming, business learning, and community activities.

Location: Moshav Beit Zayit
Year founded: 2013

Description

KAIMA - THINKING AND ACTING OUTSIDE THE BOX!

Organic farming and the pride which comes with growing - literally and metaphorically - can be a highly effective vehicle to connect those who feel discarded by society to something inherently meaningful. Amutat Kaima, meaning ‘sustainability’ in Aramaic, is committed to helping Israeli teens (15-18) who have dropped out of school turn their lives around through a program of hands-on organic farming, business learning, and community activities. Our model and the way we see and relate to the young person challenges the “one-size-fits-all” prescription of Israel’s national education system. Our approach is new; it is different; and it’s super successful!

So, how does it work?

ABOUT US

In 2013 a group of young Israeli social entrepreneurs created the blueprint for Amutat Kaima as a way to tap into their passion for organic farming to improve the lives of Israeli youth who have dropped out of school, or on the cusp of doing so, particularly those unable to adapt to conventional indoor learning and adult-driven frameworks.

Our primary initiative is an organic farm nestled in a pastoral, terraced valley on the outskirts of Jerusalem, on 4.5 acres of fallow land donated by local families. Kaima farm 1) stimulates curiosity on the part of the young person; 2) develops employability skills and offers work experience; 3) teaches teamwork; 4) encourages independent thinking, entrepreneurial action, and leadership development; 5) builds a sense of community; 6) cultivates personal accountability; and 7) fosters environmental stewardship for the young person.

Kaima's young farmers are critical to running the serious work of the farm, supported, in part, through sales to our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members - individuals and families who adhere to “farm to table” lifestyles and pledge to support local farms by paying a set price for a share of the anticipated harvest. The Kaima twist – we created YCSA (Young Community Supported Agriculture), an educational method using employment as an educational tool to help connect dropout youth to a worthy undertaking. Our young farmers, who earn a salary for their work, are identified through the Ministry of Welfare with whom we collaborate closely.

Our pedagogic approach is based on listening to kids, giving them responsibility, reminding them that they are the most powerful players in determining their futures. The real ‘treatment’ at Kaima happens in the field, when we are simply planting cucumbers or picking tomatoes and just chatting. When working with youth it’s all about trust. And to gain their trust you have to be there with them.

In addition to our farm employment program, Kaima youth are also given opportunities, through the vehicle of our Project Based Learning Lab to: 1) design, develop, and deliver a solution to a practical problem they themselves identify, thus deepening their critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills; and/or 2) take part in trade/vocational certification programming of their own selection. Additionally, some youth help oversee our non-traditional agricultural and urban renewal activities at our offsite hydroponic greenhouse housed on the grounds of Jerusalem’s Botanical Gardens. Through this exciting association, Kaima is playing a prominent role in the Garden's "Hub for Social and Environmental Activism", an initiative focused on promoting human and urban ecological diversity.

SUPPORTING OURSELVES TODAY AND INTO THE FUTURE

In seeking to build and export a sustainable social welfare and change program, Kaima demonstrates that it is possible for non-profit organizations to operate according to non-traditional means and not remain dependent or over-dependent on philanthropy. Indeed, we support our efforts according to a model of our own design - a hybrid of a social business and non-profit modalities. Revenue is derived through 1) self generated income (currently 50% of our income comes from agricultural sales to the public); 2) support from government partners; and 3) local and Diaspora philanthropy.

Integral to our vision is the scaled replication of the farm’s model beyond our Beit Zayit location. We seek to do this under the auspices of the Kaima Center for Economic Development and Educational Training either by managing additional Kaima farms or by franchising the concept to other like minded educators and farmers. The model, in the process of being professionally evaluated for further expansion, has already been adopted by three other farms in Israel’s geographic and economic peripheries, in communities populated by disadvantaged youth. They include Kaima Beerotayim (est. 2015), Kaima Hukuk (est. 2016), and Kaima Nahalal (est. 2017). In 2018, we our first farm outside of Israel began operations in Tanzania, Africa!

 

Bringing Hydroponic Farming to Jerusalem

About

THE ORGANIZATION: Kaima, or 'sustainability' in Aramaic, is an Israeli NGO which re-engages young Israelis who have dropped out of school, through a multi-faceted program of hands-on organic farming, business learning and community activities. Kaima, located just outside of Jerusalem on Moshav Beit Zayit, collaborates with other NGOs and government authorities committed to transforming the lives of young Israelis living on the extreme margins of society.

Understanding that not all learning takes place in indoor, conventional
classroom settings, Kaima helps those (identified by the Ministry of
Education), who have either fallen out of the system or are receiving minimal formal instruction turn their lives around through meaningful outdoor educational endeavor with far-reaching social benefit. 

Our model, based on social business practices in which all profits
are reinvested into our outreach activities, views employment as an educational tool to help reconnect these young people to the society. Uniquely, Kaima’s young farmers earn a salary even as they acquire new skills. Such incentive helps them take responsibility for themselves, the team and the farm, practices which help them believe in their own self worth.

Annually, Kaima provides part- and full-time employment and educational opportunities to some 70-80 young farmers and works with hundreds of community volunteers who plant, nurture, harvest, and help bring to market the farm’s yield. Our harvest is sold to nearly 200 families each week through the CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture) model.

CURRENT PROGRAMS: Our main initiative, Kaima Organic Farm provides a launching pad for the following educational programs: 1) yearlong employment project; 2) Two-month summer and mini educational agricultural workshops; and 3) Project Based Learning (PBL) program. 

PROPOSED NEW PROGRAM: Kaima farm, located in a rural valley just a
few miles from Jerusalem, seeks to participate in a meaningful way in the capital city’s internal urban renewal process. Specifically, we are seeking seed funding to develop Jerusalem’s first commercial hydroponic greenhouse (HG) which will also be purposed as a learning center for the larger community.

Hydroponics, a controlled method of growing plants using mineral
nutrient solutions, without soil, is practiced on a modest level in individual homes but has yet to be applied on a large scale for either communal or business use within Jerusalem. Indeed, most people would never envision Jerusalem as a viable landscape for agricultural activity. We seek to demonstrate that the opposite is true; that Jerusalem can set
a standard for hydroponic farming, contributing to both community and economic development.



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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Note: While our philanthropic partners such as the Leichtag Foundation, IVN, the Russell Berrie Foundation and others are behind the capitalization of a 1 dunam (1/4 acre) hydroponic greenhouse, in this
application Kaima is seeking support for the initial HG programmatic needs.

THE PROGRAM: The HG, while serving as a satellite facility for our nearby farm facilities activities, thus appreciably increasing Kaima’s educational reach with our young farmers, will also allow us to engage Jerusalemites by offering workshops and community activities on urban reclamation, environmental stewardship, and healthy lifestyles.

The HG will be housed on the grounds of the sprawling 30-acre Jerusalem Botanical Gardens educational center within the city’s ever evolving nature corridor which also hosts the newly established Gazelle Park (Emek HaTzavim) nature preserve, home to a herd of gazelles that has managed to survive within the city's limits, and the nearby Jerusalem Bird Observation Center. The area is morphing into an important open green space in the heart of Jerusalem and is, thus, the ideal location for this initiative.  Initially, half of the HG will be used for hydroponic growing for commercial use, the proceeds of which will be reinvested into Kaima’s pedagogic platform; the other half will be used to facilitate educational programming with the public at large and will allow for the possibility to expand the growing area in the future.

PROPOSED PURPOSE OF THE HYDROPONIC GREENHOUSE: The
overarching purpose of the project will be to help Jerusalem re-imagine itself and explore its green potential in the midst of urban expansion. To this end, we seek to:

  1. Serve Jerusalemites by: a) providing resources for city dwellers and the business sector committed to repurposing unused private and public spaces b) extending learning opportunities to Jerusalem’s residents, the stewards of the estimated 300 community garden’s now established throughout the capital city; and c) advancing the reach of CSA farming.

  2. Expand Kaima’s educational work with its young farmers by: a) teaching them new technical skills; and b) bringing them into meaningful contact with the community at large.

PROPOSED BENEFITS:

Educational and Communal Benefits

  1. Will promote the field of hydroponic gardening for both private and
    commercial use in Jerusalem where its principles can conceivably be applied to rooftop gardening and high-yield farming.

  2. Will create new youth programming for Gan Habotani's recently established "Hub for Social and Environmental Activism" designed to strengthen existing initiatives, integrate new ones, and encourage cross-project collaboration. To this end, the HG will provide the Botanical Gardens with a state-of-the art facility from which to educate other members of the general public about sustainable farming practices.

  3. Will immediately expand pedagogic and economic opportunities for Kaima's corps of young farmers, the majority of whom are residents of Jerusalem.

Economic Benefits


  1. Will enable Kaima to produce high quality, nutritional, and flavorful vegetables (sensitive to harsh weather) for consumption by current and future CSA members and the general public, and addressing the increasing demand of Jerusalem residents.

  2. Will provide an immediate and ongoing income stream, increasing Kaima's annual revenue by 5%, as we pursue our economic objective of securing 70% of our operating and educational costs from the sale of the farm's yield by 2017. This is an important step in reducing Kaima’s long-term dependence on philanthropic donations. (Note: Kaima is currently underwriting 48% of our operating and educational needs by through the sale of our yield. For more information on our economic platform, please see our “Common Application”
    uploaded on AMPLIFIER.)

  3. Will contribute to Kaima’s organizational vision of promoting social
    business principles to non-profit activities and connecting Israel’s third sector and the business community to partner in order to achieve a communal benefit.






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Program Description

ANSWERED ABOVE- Identical question

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Demonstrated Need

SOCIAL VALUE OF HYDROPONIC GARDENING: Hydroponics is a system of agriculture that utilizes nutrient-laden water rather than soil for plant nourishment (Bridgewood, 2003). Because it does not require natural precipitation or fertile land in order to be effective, it presents people living in arid regions [and densely populated urban settings] with a means to grow food for themselves and for profit. Hydroponic systems do not require pesticides, require less water and space than traditional agricultural systems. (Growing Power, 2011; Marginson, 2010). This makes them optimal for use in cities, where space is particularly limited, and [ideal to reduce] strain on distant farms, habitat intrusion, food miles, and carbon emissions. (Mission 2015: Biodiversity)

TARGET AUDIENCE: The HG will serve as a model for urban hydroponic gardening for city dwellers and commercial agricultural endeavor within Jerusalem.

Jerusalemites

The demand for organically grown farm-to-table vegetables – grown and sold through the CSA model or by one’s self - is on the rise in Jerusalem.  Simply, people want to know where their food comes from and how it is grown. Connected to this is the desire to see a greener city, particularly as the Jerusalem skyline now includes a record number of high-rise buildings. In response, Jerusalemites are constructing and lovingly caring for community gardens as they grow and compost as a collective.  While some residents may have tinkered on a small level with hydroponic balcony gardening, Kaima will introduce this technology to the community on a larger level.

Jerusalem Building Owners

While some building owners have offered their roofs for important water reclamation projects in Jerusalem, commercial rooftop farming has not been widely explored. Over time, commercial hydroponic agriculture can:

  1. Provide incentive for investors to capitalize on this opportunity.

  2. Expand capacity to supply fresh food which can be both produced and consumed locally.

  3. Limit terrestrial biodiversity loss through the reversion of large tracts of current farmland into sustainable and fundamentally natural environments.

  4. Optimize space in current agricultural settings.


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Program Accomplishments


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How do you measure the success of your program?

One of our potential donors now considering our capital campaign to build the HG has expressed an interest in helping Kaima underwrite an external evaluation of the GH project, which, once operational, will be evaluated on the following levels:

Educational Impact

  1. Diversity of educational opportunities for Kaima farmers: We expect that the program will introduce new technologies to our young farmers who, until now, have primarily been exposed to traditional agricultural farming methods.

  2. Serve as a resource for the community at large: In the first year of the initiative, we will pilot a number of workshops after which we will assess how to best proceed.

  3. Serve as a model for other non-profit and for-profit enterprises to invest in urban gardening and/or commercial hydroponic agriculture.

Economic Impact

The projected profit from GH sales over the course of four years assumes that romaine lettuce will be the primary crop. While, in time, it may be preferable to grow other items, such as celery, herbs, kale and bok choy, all of which can bring greater profit at
market, we will start with lettuce which is fast growing and in constant
demand.  Our business plan outlines a scenario in which Kaima will increase its annual sales by 5% from the ½ dunam greenhouse.


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Kaima Center for Economic Development and Educational Training

About

Kaima, established as a non-profit organization in 2013, re-engages and empowers Israeli youth who have dropped out of school through a multi-faceted program of organic farming, business learning, and community involvement. In addition to our flagship employment initiative, an operating farm tucked away in the village of Beit Zayit, just outside of Jerusalem, we also facilitate trade/vocational certification programming through our Project Based Learning Lab and an urban renewal program at our offsite hydroponic greenhouse housed on the grounds of Jerusalem’s Botanical Gardens, an initiative funded previously through the Natan Fund Small Grant Program for the Renewal of Jerusalem.

Committed to finding and sharing with others innovative solutions to seemingly intractable social problems, Kaima is a young but progressive leader in the emerging proliferation of new hybrid organizations committed to addressing human challenges through the application of business practices. Our pioneering, and scalable model works by synthesizing education, environmental stewardship and social business into one cohesive ecosystem that relies on a three-tiered cost-sharing operating formula with revenue derived from: 1) self-generated income through CSA* sales; 2) government buy-in; and 3) limited philanthropy. Poised for export, Kaima’s approach builds partnerships and inspires the public to participate in neighborhood change initiatives by buying local produce; supporting local employment; challenging Israel’s educational authorities to think outside the box; and redirecting youth to positive endeavor.

Embedded in Kaima’s founding vision is geographic expansion and responsible replication of our model to be undertaken with the right human and financial resources in place. To this end, we are proposing the establishment of the “Kaima Center for Economic Development and Educational Training” (the Center). The Center will help Kaima build our organizational capacity to address crucial questions related to the development of a functioning multi-location, national network.

* CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is an international movement within which individuals and families who adhere to “farm to table” lifestyles pledge to support local farms by paying a set price for a share of the anticipated harvest.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

MISSION

The Center will enable Kaima to advance and maximize our nascent process of replicating our employment-as-education model by:

  1. Suggesting that others adopt/adapt our methodology to simultaneously engage disenfranchised youth and encourage local consumption of goods and services in the commercial marketplace.
  2. Providing business training and educational resources to current and future Kaima franchisees.
  3. Further defining and promoting our commercial brand in the market place.

PURPOSE

The Center will enable Kaima to inspire others to imagine new approaches to social challenges through income-generating endeavor by:

  1. Furthering the legitimaztion of the emerging “fourth sector” within which collaboration between public (government), private (business), and social (non-profit) sectors zero in on promoting positive human change through community engagement and local job creation.
  2. Encouraging the proliferation of community operated farms as a way to legitimize and mainstream alternative educational frameworks, particularly for youth who cannot relate to traditional school settings. This is key to establishing a new national educational movement based on adherence to social business principles.
  3. Capitalizing on the explosive growth of the global CSA movement in ways which take into consideration the needs and leadership capacity of young people and the public’s clear desire to buy locally grown products.
  4. Providing a platform to more deeply participate in the global conversation about the relationship between human and environmental sustainability.

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Program Description

THE PROJECT IN BRIEF

The newly proposed Center, to be located within Kaima Beit Zayit’s existing office/warehouse space, will serve as the hub of our growing national network with a focus on establishing a presence and providing resources within Israel’s social, economic and geographic peripheries. All franchisees must commit to a six-month intensive vetting process; be willing to assume and operate (or change existing status as a registered business) according to the requirements which govern non-profit organizations; fashion their own program on Kaima Beit Zayit’s pedagogic methodology and CSA economic model; commit to our organic principals and customer service standards; and accept Beit Zayit’s ongoing mentorship. In addition, franchise founders agree to forgo salary for approximately six months during the start-up/transition phase in order to reduce expenses. The project will be led by Erez Spivak, a Kaima Co-Founder and Beit Zayit’s former Agricultural and Educational Director.

BACKGROUND ON THE NEED AND OUR APPROACH

Kaima asserts that employment is an exceptionally powerful tool to teach critical thinking and universally relevant life skills; one that reinforces the payoff of personal initiative and the pride of accountability. How does it work and why is it successful? Kaima youth (identified through the Ministry of Welfare) sign a work contract and are paid a fair salary, financed, in part, through sales for which they are responsible. Thus, they enter into what is likely their first business endeavor – a construct that helps transform the young person from one who was socially disengaged to a valued member of the community.

  1. The pedagogic benefit: Within approximately six months of Kaima employment, 80% of our participants return to traditional classroom, boarding school or night school (many undertaking matriculation exams); or enter rehab for the first time.
  2. The social results: All participants who are eligible to do so participate in military or national service, key to social advancement as Israeli citizens. Additionally, for youth who have poor relationships with adults, our model is unusual in that we have formed a multi-generational community without conventional hierarchies. Our young farmers learn, work, and problem-solve side-by-side with adults in small groups and one-on-one, with youth sometimes taking the lead. In this way we view them as partners, not problems.
  3. The economic results: We are proud to be able to cover ~48% of our operating costs from the sale of the farm's yield. We expect this number to increase to, but not exceed, 70% within the next two years. Moreover, our approach lowers government outlay for alternative education by 50% for those kids who might otherwise go to jail or rehab or require as adults public assistance and poverty alleviation. Note, the above findings relate only to our Beit Zayit location.

PROJECT CHARTER:

The Center will enable us to fulfill our organizational mission by:

  1. In 2017, ensuring the long-term economic sustainability and capacity of current franchise farms (Kaima Beerotayim and Kaima Hukuk) to run a financially successful social business while attending to the educational needs of their young workers through ongoing professional training and mentorship.
  2. In 2018, implementing our proposed geographic expansion plans to franchise up to 3 additional farms. Note, this depends not only on our own operational capacity but on our satisfaction that we can identify others who meet our standards and requirements.
  3. In 2018 and beyond, researching, vetting and ultimately accepting additional franchisees beyond our current plans, with the goal of establishing 10-12 farms by 2023, marking a decade since our founding. Note: Again, the primary factor which could deter from our meeting this goal relates to identification of appropriate partners.
  4. Demonstrating the value of promoting community partnerships and inspiring the public to participate in neighborhood change initiative.
  5. Offering a platform to encourage deep thought of all stakeholders.
  6. Developing the relationships and tools to compel governmental authorities to release further budget to ensure they are paying their “fair share” and, thus, reduce reliance on philanthropy.
  7. Facilitating and stepping up our international collaborations with other CSA communities, non-CSA farmers, and non-government/non-profit organizations around the world

CENTER OPERATIONS

1. Franchise development, initial implementation and ongoing support: Funding is needed to:

A. Support current franchisees

B. Identify, vet, and establish new farms:

B.1. Vetting potential new Kaima franchisees

B.2. Providing assistance in securing NGO status

B.3 Navigating governmental and other bureaucratic offices

B.4. Securing three-year seed funding for each farm

B.5. Assisting in relationship and capacity building

C. Train new franchisees:

C.1. Providing initial two-week operations training at Beit Zayit

C.2. Providing ongoing onsite mentoring

D. Incubating new ideas and networking:

D.1. Developing and facilitating in-service economic development and educational trainings, workshops, and seminars for all Kaima franchises and others interested in applying our model to other industries.

D.2. Interfacing with other agriculturalists, other social businesses, and Israel’s educational authorities.

2. Capacity building: Funding is needed to evaluate and test how to best ensure that all Kaima farms achieve measurable and sustainable results by:

2.A. Outlining agricultural practices and financial formulas for maximizing individual farm sales capacity and collective development.

  • The ability to grow a nutritious product that makes it to market requires that we study and rate each farm’s agricultural ecosystem, including soil characteristics, geographic location, and weather conditions, knowing that some farms will be better adept at growing certain crops (i.e. dark leafy greens) vs. others (i.e. root vegetables). We have already learned that farming in Jerusalem, where the terrain is rocky, winter brings snowfall, and the summer drought is associated with different challenges and costs than farming in other areas of the country.
  • Even at this early stage we are experimenting with what we hope will be a cost saving undertaking for both Beit Zayit and, ultimately, our farming network. Like most farms, Kaima’s vegetables are raised from both seeds and seedlings, the latter the more expensive, but frequently the better option depending on the length of the growing season. Presently, the Eden seed company provides us with a donation of free seeds for which we are most grateful. Annually, each of our farms also purchases up to $25,000 worth of seedlings from Hishtil We are already beginning to explore our capacity at Beit Zayit to grow young plants for our own use and that of our other farms. Once we have the growing formula down, this can potentially reduce one of our fixed costs and increase profit.

2.B. Determining how each farm will relate to one another.We will study and outline how the network should approach questions regarding how/if to combine financial resources; conceptualize and develop organizational plans; purchase, market, and fundraise together; etc. Areas to be analyzed include:

  • Purchasing. We will need to determine which items make the most sense to purchase collectively. We have already concluded, for example, that our purchasing power is stronger when it comes to buying packaging materials for all farms from one source. Simultaneously, we have to weigh the philosophical commitment to sourcing locally when doing so may not be the most financial intelligent decision. Indeed, one of the most significant issues in the organic food movement relates to the economics of collective vs. local purchasing of supplemental vegetables (common with CSA farming in order to meet customer demand). In our case, we will need to determine as a collective whether or not Kaima farms buy from one another or from other farms. While we want to remain faithful to the ethos of local farming in which farmers try to reduce transportation costs, we also need to examine the economics of doing so.
  • Marketing. We will need to explore if it will be best for each farm to market itself individually and/or collectively. This relates strongly to branding and the idea of promoting local or national identification.
  • Fundraising and relationship building. We will need to explore if each farm should be responsible for its own grant seeking and government advocacy or would it be more advantageous to develop a centralized system.
  • Product development: We will need to consider the financial cost/benefit of developing private label agricultural products (such as packaged herbs, jams, chutneys, etc.) which can be sold through Kaima’s network.

3. Engaging in the global conversation: Israel, a small country, is home to approximately 25 serious CSA farms. By comparison, a 2007 USDA report identified an astounding 12,549 CSA operations in the US. Our model is ripe for export to other countries concerned with global problems such as student dropout; economic depression; under-employment; food scarcity; and industry dominance in local market places. We are currently developing standards for community-driven, decentralized approaches to dealing with the economics of human and environmental sustainability in societies where conventional services are weak or unresponsive to the needs of the individual.Kaima, already collaborating on an international level, seeks to further promote our assertion that NGOs has within their reach the power to participate financially in support their community-based missions through income–generating activities.

STAKEHOLDERS

  1. Farming community
  2. Youth and their families
  3. Educators
  4. Consumers and communities
  5. Workforce
  6. Educational authorities
  7. The international community


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Demonstrated Need

Answered previously

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Program Accomplishments

As noted, Kaima is supported, in part, through sales to our CSA membership. The Kaima twist – we created YCSA (Young Community Supported Agriculture), an educational method that uses employment as an educational tool to help connect dropout youth to a worthy undertaking. Our young farmers, who earn a salary for their work, are identified through the Ministry of Welfare with whom we collaborate closely.

After nearly four years in operation, Kaima, having attained proof of concept, has slowly and carefully started to replicate the farm’s educational-business model through a process of social franchising. Different from commercial franchising -- which seeks the attainment of private profit -- social franchising endeavors to bring about a shared communal benefit. We seek to do this either by: 1) establishing satellite Kaima farms under our own exclusive management, or 2) franchising the concept to a) amutot seeking to duplicate our formula for youth engagement or b) farmers who embrace the idea of transforming their for-profit CSA farms into amutot based on Kaima’s commitment to bring youth into their business plans, create local jobs, and follow our educational protocol.

Following a thorough vetting process, Kaima Be'erotayim, located near Netanya on previously unused land zoned for agricultural purposes, and Kaima Hukuk, an operating CSA farm, located near Lake Kineret, have been accepted as part of our young network and are modeling their approach on Kaima Beit Zayit’s pedagogic economic methods. We are currently and will continue to provide intensive formal training for the first two years of operation and ongoing supervision thereafter for all new farms.

Kaima, an investment-ready social enterprise has proven itself ready to tackle this challenge. Why now? Through our initial pilot efforts, we have demonstrated our capacity to develop and deliver an adaptable, replicable and scalable social business model that strategically supports our social mission and formula for financial stability. We believe this thrust is in alignment with Natan’s particular interest in supporting the creation and expansion of scalable initiatives with “the potential to exert an economic multiplier effect on participants, geographic regions, and/or particular social issues.”

The program – having garnered serious interest on the part of educators and agriculturalists beyond Israel’s borders, in Ghana, Spain, the UK and the US - is highly transferable and universally relevant. We chose agriculture as our product because it relates to our desire to tap into the message of nature’s power of renewal as a path to youth engagement and empowerment.However, our model can readily be applied to other fields in the retail and service industries. The most important element is to identify the young person as an active player in his/her life.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

CURRENT EVALUATION PROCESS

Evaluation data are culled from participant feedback and social work and other staff input.Presently, we are interested in assessing the following:

1. Educational impact:

1.A. Satisfaction and attitudinal and behavioral changes.

1.B. Ability to develop problem solving skills, follow a plan, and meet expectations of oneself and others.

1.C. Readiness to assume new challenges beyond basic requirements.

2. Organizational capacity:

2.A. Ability to provide meaningful training programs for our educational partners which include other NGOs.

2.B. Capacity to bring more educational authorities onboard as stronger financial partners and encourage them to understand the erroneous notion and negative socio-economic implications of “one size fits all” educational policies.

2.C. Readiness, aptitude, capacity to add new program elements or export our model for use by other NGO’s, forth sector enterprises or social businesses, both in Israel and abroad.

3. Financial/Business:

3.A. Sales relative to costs

3.B. Crop quality

3.C. CSA customer satisfaction

3.D. Capacity to scale up geographically

FUTURE EVALUATION PROCESS

We hope to secure the funding to undertake a serious externally-facilitated evaluation once we have a critical mass of project alumni to assess both short- and long-germ impact. It is likely that the evaluation’s parameters will measure our ability to implement effective programming relative to our goals, and assess advancement after program completion. For example, we will seek to track the number of participants who return to school and matriculate; continue onto the army or national service; secure meaningful work; stay out of trouble with the law; maintain drug and alcohol free lifestyles (for those who came to us as addicts); and report on increased self-esteem and progress in their personal relationships; etc.We also want to quantify in more sophisticated ways to the cost/benefit of investing public resources in alternative education based on the Kaima model. We will need to build a relevant mechanism to evaluate the work of the Center once it is fully operational, with particular focus on the success of the economic policies we adopt.

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Kaima Center for Economic Development and Educational Training

About

Kaima, established as a non-profit organization in 2013, re-engages and empowers Israeli youth who have dropped out of school through a multi-faceted program of organic farming, business learning, and community involvement. In addition to our flagship employment initiative, an operating farm tucked away in the village of Beit Zayit, just outside of Jerusalem, we also facilitate trade/vocational certification programming through our Project Based Learning Lab and an urban renewal program at our offsite hydroponic greenhouse housed on the grounds of Jerusalem’s Botanical Gardens, an initiative funded previously through the Natan Fund Small Grant Program for the Renewal of Jerusalem.

Committed to finding and sharing with others innovative solutions to seemingly intractable social problems, Kaima is a young but progressive leader in the emerging proliferation of new hybrid organizations committed to addressing human challenges through the application of business practices. Our pioneering, and scalable model works by synthesizing education, environmental stewardship and social business into one cohesive ecosystem that relies on a three-tiered cost-sharing operating formula with revenue derived from: 1) self-generated income through CSA* sales; 2) government buy-in; and 3) limited philanthropy. Poised for export, Kaima’s approach builds partnerships and inspires the public to participate in neighborhood change initiatives by buying local produce; supporting local employment; challenging Israel’s educational authorities to think outside the box; and redirecting youth to positive endeavor.

Embedded in Kaima’s founding vision is geographic expansion and responsible replication of our model to be undertaken with the right human and financial resources in place. To this end, we are proposing the establishment of the “Kaima Center for Economic Development and Educational Training” (the Center). The Center will help Kaima build our organizational capacity to address crucial questions related to the development of a functioning multi-location, national network.

* CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is an international movement within which individuals and families who adhere to “farm to table” lifestyles pledge to support local farms by paying a set price for a share of the anticipated harvest.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

MISSION

The Center will enable Kaima to advance and maximize our nascent process of replicating our employment-as-education model by:

  1. Suggesting that others adopt/adapt our methodology to simultaneously engage disenfranchised youth and encourage local consumption of goods and services in the commercial marketplace.
  2. Providing business training and educational resources to current and future Kaima franchisees.
  3. Further defining and promoting our commercial brand in the market place.

PURPOSE

The Center will enable Kaima to inspire others to imagine new approaches to social challenges through income-generating endeavor by:

  1. Further legitimizing the emerging “fourth sector” within which collaboration between public (government), private (business), and social (non-profit) sectors zero in on promoting positive human change through community engagement and local job creation.
  2. Encouraging the proliferation of community operated farms as a way to legitimize and mainstream alternative educational frameworks, particularly for youth who cannot relate to traditional school settings. This is key to establishing a new national educational movement based on adherence to social business principles.
  3. Capitalizing on the explosive growth of the global CSA movement in ways which take into consideration the needs and leadership capacity of young people and the public’s clear desire to buy locally grown products.
  4. Providing a platform to more deeply participate in the global conversation about the relationship between human and environmental sustainability.

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Program Description

PROJECT DETAILS

The newly proposed Center, to be located within Kaima Beit Zayit’s existing office/warehouse space, will serve as the hub of our growing national network with a focus on establishing a presence and providing resources within Israel’s social, economic and geographic peripheries. All franchisees must commit to a six-month intensive vetting process; be willing to assume and operate (or change existing status as a registered business) according to the requirements which govern non-profit organizations; fashion their own program on Kaima Beit Zayit’s pedagogic methodology and CSA economic model; commit to our organic principals and customer service standards; and accept Beit Zayit’s ongoing mentorship. In addition, franchise founders agree to forgo salary for approximately six months during the start-up/transition phase in order to reduce expenses. The project will be led by Erez Spivak, a Kaima Co-Founder and Beit Zayit’s former Agricultural and Educational Director.

BACKGROUND ON THE NEED AND OUR APPROACH

Kaima asserts that employment is an exceptionally powerful tool to teach critical thinking and universally relevant life skills; one that reinforces the payoff of personal initiative and the pride of accountability. How does it work and why is it successful? Kaima youth (identified through the Ministry of Welfare) sign a work contract and are paid a fair salary, financed, in part, through sales for which they are responsible. Thus, they enter into what is likely their first business endeavor – a construct that helps transform the young person from one who was socially disengaged to a valued member of the community.

  1. The pedagogic benefit: Within approximately six months of Kaima employment, 80% of our participants return to traditional classroom, boarding school or night school (many undertaking matriculation exams); or enter rehab for the first time.
  2. The social results: All participants who are eligible to do so participate in military or national service, key to social advancement as Israeli citizens. Additionally, for youth who have poor relationships with adults, our model is unusual in that we have formed a multi-generational community without conventional hierarchies. Our young farmers learn, work, and problem-solve side-by-side with adults in small groups and one-on-one, with youth sometimes taking the lead. In this way we view them as partners, not problems.
  3. The economic results: We are proud to be able to cover ~48% of our operating costs from the sale of the farm's yield.We expect this number to increase to, but not exceed, 70% within the next two years. Moreover, our approach lowers government outlay for alternative education by 50% for those kids who might otherwise go to jail or rehab or require as adults public assistance and poverty alleviation.Note, the above findings relate only to our Beit Zayit location.

PROJECT CHARTER

The Center will enable us to fulfill our organizational mission by:

1.In 2017, ensuring the long-term economic sustainability and capacity of current franchise farms (Kaima Beerotayim and Kaima Hukuk) to run a financially successful social business while attending to the educational needs of their young workers through ongoing professional training and mentorship.

2.In 2017, adding two new farms assuming they meet our standards for acceptance into the network.

3.In 2018, implementing our proposed geographic expansion plans to franchise up to 3 additional farms. Note, this depends not only on our own operational capacity but on our satisfaction that we can identify others who meet our standards and requirements.

4.In 2018 and beyond, researching, vetting and ultimately accepting additional franchisees beyond our current plans, with the goal of establishing 10-12 farms by 2023, marking a decade since our founding. Note: Again, the primary factor which could deter from our meeting this goal relates to identification of appropriate partners.

5.Demonstrating the value of promoting community partnerships and inspiring the public to participate in neighborhood change initiative.

6.Offering a platform to encourage deep thought of all stakeholders.

7.Developing the relationships and tools to compel governmental authorities to release further budget to ensure they are paying their “fair share” and, thus, reduce reliance on philanthropy.

8.Facilitating and stepping up our international collaborations with other CSA communities, non-CSA farmers, and non-government/non-profit organizations around the world

CENTER OPERATIONS

1. Franchise development, initial implementation and ongoing support: Funding is needed to:

A. Support current franchisees

B. Identify, vet, and establish new farms:

  • Vetting potential new Kaima franchisees
  • Providing assistance in securing NGO status
  • Navigating governmental and other bureaucratic offices
  • Securing three-year seed funding for each farm
  • Assisting in relationship and capacity building

C. Train new franchisees:

  • Providing initial two-week operations training at Beit Zayit
  • Providing ongoing onsite mentoring

D. Incubate new ideas and networking:

  • Developing and facilitating in-service economic development and educational trainings, workshops, and seminars for all Kaima franchises and others interested in applying our model to other industries.
  • Interfacing with other agriculturalists, other social businesses, and Israel’s educational authorities.

2. Capacity building: Funding is needed to evaluate and test how to best ensure that all Kaima farms achieve measurable and sustainable results by:

A. Outlining agricultural practices and financial formulas for maximizing individual farm sales capacity and collective development.

  • The ability to grow a nutritious product that makes it to market requires that we study and rate each farm’s agricultural ecosystem, including soil characteristics, geographic location, and weather conditions, knowing that some farms will be better adept at growing certain crops (i.e. dark leafy greens) vs. others (i.e. root vegetables). We have already learned that farming in Jerusalem, where the terrain is rocky, winter brings snowfall, and the summer drought is associated with different challenges and costs than farming in other areas of the country.
  • Even at this early stage we are experimenting with what we hope will be a cost saving undertaking for both Beit Zayit and, ultimately, our farming network. Like most farms, Kaima’s vegetables are raised from both seeds and seedlings, the latter the more expensive, but frequently the better option depending on the length of the growing season. Presently, the Eden seed company provides us with a donation of free seeds for which we are most grateful. Annually, each of our farms also purchases up to $25,000 worth of seedlings from Hishtil We are already beginning to explore our capacity at Beit Zayit to grow young plants for our own use and that of our other farms. Once we have the growing formula down, this can potentially reduce one of our fixed costs and increase profit.

B. Determining how each farm will relate to one another. We will study and outline how the network should approach questions regarding how/if to combine financial resources; conceptualize and develop organizational plans; purchase, market, and fundraise together; etc. Areas to be analyzed include:

  • Purchasing. We will need to determine which items make the most sense to purchase collectively. We have already concluded, for example, that our purchasing power is stronger when it comes to buying packaging materials for all farms from one source. Simultaneously, we have to weigh the philosophical commitment to sourcing locally when doing so may not be the most financial intelligent decision. Indeed, one of the most significant issues in the organic food movement relates to the economics of collective vs. local purchasing of supplemental vegetables (common with CSA farming in order to meet customer demand). In our case, we will need to determine as a collective whether or not Kaima farms buy from one another or from other farms. While we want to remain faithful to the ethos of local farming in which farmers try to reduce transportation costs, we also need to examine the economics of doing so.
  • Marketing. We will need to explore if it will be best for each farm to market itself individually and/or collectively. This relates strongly to branding and the idea of promoting local or national identification.
  • Fundraising and relationship building. We will need to explore if each farm should be responsible for its own grant seeking and government advocacy or would it be more advantageous to develop a centralized system.
  • Product development: We will need to consider the financial cost/benefit of developing private label agricultural products (such as packaged herbs, jams, chutneys, etc.) which can be sold through Kaima’s network.

3. Engaging in the global conversation: Israel, a small country, is home to approximately 25 serious CSA farms. By comparison, a 2007 USDA report identified an astounding 12,549 CSA operations in the US. Our model is ripe for export to other countries concerned with global problems such as student dropout; economic depression; under-employment; food scarcity; and industry dominance in local market places. We are currently developing standards for community-driven, decentralized approaches to dealing with the economics of human and environmental sustainability in societies where conventional services are weak or unresponsive to the needs of the individual.Kaima, already collaborating on an international level, seeks to further promote our assertion that NGOs has within their reach the power to participate financially in support their community-based missions through income–generating activities.

STAKEHOLDERS

  1. Farming community
  2. Youth and their families
  3. Educators
  4. Consumers and communities
  5. Workforce
  6. Educational authorities
  7. The international community

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Demonstrated Need

Answered previously

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Program Accomplishments

As noted, Kaima is supported, in part, through sales to our CSA membership. The Kaima twist – we created YCSA (Young Community Supported Agriculture), an educational method that uses employment as an educational tool to help connect dropout youth to a worthy undertaking. Our young farmers, who earn a salary for their work, are identified through the Ministry of Welfare with whom we collaborate closely.

After nearly four years in operation, Kaima, having attained proof of concept, has slowly and carefully started to replicate the farm’s educational-business model through a process of social franchising. Different from commercial franchising -- which seeks the attainment of private profit -- social franchising endeavors to bring about a shared communal benefit. We seek to do this either by: 1) establishing satellite Kaima farms under our own exclusive management, or 2) franchising the concept to a) amutot seeking to duplicate our formula for youth engagement or b) farmers who embrace the idea of transforming their for-profit CSA farms into amutot based on Kaima’s commitment to bring youth into their business plans, create local jobs, and follow our educational protocol.

Following a thorough vetting process, Kaima Be'erotayim, located near Netanya on previously unused land zoned for agricultural purposes, and Kaima Hukuk, an operating CSA farm, located near Lake Kineret, have been accepted as part of our young network and are modeling their approach on Kaima Beit Zayit’s pedagogic economic methods. We are currently and will continue to provide intensive formal training for the first two years of operation and ongoing supervision thereafter for all new farms.

Kaima, an investment-ready social enterprise has proven itself ready to tackle this challenge. Why now? Through our initial pilot efforts, we have demonstrated our capacity to develop and deliver an adaptable, replicable and scalable social business model that strategically supports our social mission and formula for financial stability. We believe this thrust is in alignment with Natan’s particular interest in supporting the creation and expansion of scalable initiatives with “the potential to exert an economic multiplier effect on participants, geographic regions, and/or particular social issues.”

The program – having garnered serious interest on the part of educators and agriculturalists beyond Israel’s borders, in Ghana, Spain, the UK and the US - is highly transferable and universally relevant. We chose agriculture as our product because it relates to our desire to tap into the message of nature’s power of renewal as a path to youth engagement and empowerment.However, our model can readily be applied to other fields in the retail and service industries. The most important element is to identify the young person as an active player in his/her life.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

CURRENT ORGANIZATIONAL EVALUATION PROCESS

Evaluation data are culled from participant feedback and social work and other staff input.Presently, we are interested in assessing the following:

1. Educational impact:

A. Satisfaction and attitudinal and behavioral changes.

B. Ability to develop problem solving skills, follow a plan, and meet expectations of oneself and others.

C. Readiness to assume new challenges beyond basic requirements.

2. Organizational capacity:

A. Ability to provide meaningful training programs for our educational partners which include other NGOs.

B. Capacity to bring more educational authorities onboard as stronger financial partners and encourage them to understand the erroneous notion and negative socio-economic implications of “one size fits all” educational policies.

C. Readiness, aptitude, capacity to add new program elements or export our model for use by other NGO’s, forth sector enterprises or social businesses, both in Israel and abroad.

3. Financial/Business:

A. Sales relative to costs

B. Crop quality

C. CSA customer satisfaction

D. Capacity to scale up geographically

FUTURE EVALUATION PROCESS

We hope to secure the funding to undertake a serious externally-facilitated evaluation once we have a critical mass of project alumni to assess both short- and long-germ impact. It is likely that the evaluation’s parameters will measure our ability to implement effective programming relative to our goals, and assess advancement after program completion. For example, we will seek to track the number of participants who return to school and matriculate; continue onto the army or national service; secure meaningful work; stay out of trouble with the law; maintain drug and alcohol free lifestyles (for those who came to us as addicts); and report on increased self-esteem and progress in their personal relationships; etc. We also want to quantify in more sophisticated ways to the cost/benefit of investing public resources in alternative education based on the Kaima model.

PROGRAM EVALUATION PROCESS

We will need to build a relevant mechanism to evaluate the work of the Center once it is fully operational, with particular focus on the success of the economic policies we adopt.

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Kaima Center for Economic Development and Educational Training (Year Two)

About

Kaima, established as a non-profit organization in 2013, re-engages and empowers Israeli youth who have dropped out of school through a multi-faceted program of organic farming, business learning, and community involvement. In addition to our flagship employment initiative, an operating farm tucked away in the village of Beit Zayit, just outside of Jerusalem, we also facilitate trade/vocational certification programming through our Project Based Learning Lab and an urban renewal program at our offsite hydroponic greenhouse housed on the grounds of Jerusalem’s Botanical Gardens, an initiative funded previously through the Natan Fund Small Grant Program for the Renewal of Jerusalem.

Committed to finding and sharing with others innovative solutions to seemingly intractable social problems, Kaima is a young but progressive leader in the emerging proliferation of new hybrid organizations committed to addressing human challenges through the application of business practices. Our pioneering, and scalable model works by synthesizing education, environmental stewardship and social business into one cohesive ecosystem that relies on a three-tiered cost-sharing operating formula with revenue derived from: 1) self-generated income through CSA* sales; 2) government buy-in; and 3) limited philanthropy.

Poised for export, Kaima’s approach builds partnerships and inspires the public to participate in neighborhood change initiatives by buying local produce; supporting local employment; challenging Israel’s educational authorities to think outside the box; and redirecting youth to positive endeavor. Indeed, embedded in Kaima’s founding vision is geographic expansion and responsible replication of our model to be undertaken with the right human and financial resources in place. To this end, with seed funding provided in 2017 through the Natan Fund, we established the “Kaima Center for Economic Development and Educational Training” (the Center). The Center is helping Kaima build our organizational capacity to address crucial questions related to the development of a functioning multi-location, national network.

* CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is an international movement within which individuals and families who adhere to “farm to table” lifestyles pledge to support local farms by paying a set price for a share of the anticipated harvest.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

MISSION

To advance and maximize Kaima’s process of replicating our employment-as-education model by:

  1. Supporting other social change makers to adopt/adapt our proven methodology which simultaneously engages disenfranchised youth and encourages local consumption of goods and services in the commercial marketplace.
  2. Providing business training and educational resources to current and future Kaima franchisees.
  3. Providing a platform to more deeply participate in the global conversation about the relationship between human and environmental sustainability.
  4. Promoting our commercial brand in the market place.

PURPOSE

  1. To inspire others to imagine new approaches to social challenges through income-generating endeavor by:
  2. Further legitimizing the emerging “fourth sector” within which collaboration between public (government), private (business), and social (non-profit) sectors zero in on promoting positive human change through community engagement and local job creation.
  3. Encouraging the proliferation of community operated farms as a way to legitimize and mainstream alternative educational frameworks, particularly for youth who cannot relate to traditional school settings. This is key to establishing a new national educational movement based on adherence to social business principles.
  4. Capitalizing on the explosive growth of the global CSA movement in ways which take into consideration the needs and leadership capacity of young people and the public’s clear desire to buy locally grown products.

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Program Description

THE PROJECT IN BRIEF

The Center -- the hub of our growing national network -- is tasked with advancing Kaima franchise or satellite farms through all phases of program development and implementation, and providing ongoing oversight. Potential franchisees must:

  1. Commit to a six-month intensive vetting process
  2. Be willing to assume and operate (or change existing status as a registered business) according to the requirements which govern non-profit organizations
  3. Fashion their own program on Kaima Beit Zayit’s pedagogic methodology and CSA economic model
  4. Commit to our organic principals and customer service standards
  5. Accept Beit Zayit’s ongoing mentorship which includes a site visit from Center staff once every two weeks and attend/prepare/and host on a rotating basis five day-long highly structured conclaves for all network professionals. These intensive sessions cover topics such as youth development; identifying risk and abuse in youth; volunteer management;collective purchasing; and relationship building with local authorities. More informal meetings also take place on an ad hoc basis.

In addition, franchise founders agree to forgo salary for approximately six months during the start-up/transition phase in order to reduce expenses. The project is being headed by Kaima Beit Zayit Co-Founder and CEO, Yoni Yefet Reich.

PROJECT CHARTER

The Center is enabling us fulfill our organizational mission in a number of ways:

  1. Promoting economic strength and stability: In 2017, the Center enabled us to lay the foundation for the long-term economic sustainability and capacity of current franchise farms (Kaima Beerotayim, Kaima Hukuk, Kaima Nahalal and Kfar Yehezkel) to run financially successful social businesses while attending to the educational needs of their young workers.
  2. Scaling-up in the short term: In 2018, implementing our proposed geographic expansion plans to franchise two new farms, one in Israel and the other abroad. Note, this depends not only on our own operational capacity but on our satisfaction that we can identify others who meet our standards and requirements.
  3. Scaling up in the long term: In 2018 and beyond, mapping the longer-term viability of accepting additional franchisees in attaining our goal of establishing 10 farms in Israel and up to 4 abroad by 2020. Note: Again, the primary factor which could deter from our meeting this goal relates to identification of appropriate partners.
  4. Promoting new concepts in education and community development: Demonstrating the value of promoting community partnerships and inspiring the public to participate in neighborhood change initiatives.
  5. Urging greater public sector involvement: Developing the relationships and tools to compel governmental authorities to release additional funding to ensure they are paying their “fair share” and, thus, reduce reliance on philanthropy.
  6. Advancing Israel’s standing in the global conversation: Facilitating and stepping up our international collaborations with other CSA communities, non-CSA farmers, and non-government/non-profit organizations around the world.

CENTER OPERATIONS

Franchise development, initial implementation and ongoing support:

1. Support current franchisees

2. Train new franchisees

3. Identify, vet, and
establish new farms:

  • Vetting potential new Kaima franchisees
  • Providing assistance in securing NGO status
  • Navigating governmental and other bureaucratic offices
  • Securing three-year seed funding for each farm
  • Assisting in relationship and capacity building

4. Incubating new ideas and networking:

  • Offering a platform to encourage deep thought of all stakeholders.
  • Developing and facilitating in-service economic development and educational trainings, workshops, and seminars for all Kaima franchises and others interested in applying our model to other industries.
  • Interfacing with other agriculturalists, other social businesses, and Israel’s educational authorities.

Capacity building: The Center is enabling the collective to:

1. Outline agricultural practices and financial formulas for maximizing individual farm sales capacity and collective development. In one example, we have recently started to invest in a new cost saving agricultural process. Kaima’s vegetables are raised from both seedlings and seeds. The former are more expensive, but frequently the better option depending on the length of the growing season. The latter are sourced either from Eden Seed Company and provided to all network farms as a pro bono contribution or by purchase from the Hishtil Company which sells approximately $25,000 to the entire network. We are already exploring the viability of Beit Zayit growing young plants for use by the collective, a development which has the capacity to help reduce fixed costs and increase profit.

2. Determine how each farm should relate to one another. We are currently studying how the network should approach questions regarding how/if to combine financial resources; conceptualize and develop organizational plans; purchase, market, and fundraise together; etc. Areas to be analyzed include:

  • Purchasing. We will need to determine which items make the most sense to purchase collectively. We have already concluded, for example, that our purchasing power is stronger when it comes to buying packaging materials for all farms from one source. Simultaneously, we have to weigh the philosophical commitment to sourcing locally when doing so may not be the most financial intelligent decision. Indeed, one of the most significant issues in the organic food movement relates to the economics of collective vs. local purchasing of supplemental vegetables (common with CSA farming in order to meet customer demand). In our case, we will need to determine as a collective whether or not Kaima farms buy from one another or from other farms. While we want to remain faithful to the ethos of local farming in which farmers try to reduce transportation costs, we also need to examine the economics of doing so.
  • Marketing. We will need to explore if it will be best for each farm to market itself individually and/or collectively. This relates strongly to branding and the idea of promoting local or national identification.
  • Fundraising and relationship building. We are still exploring the costs/benefits of centralized vs. decentralized grant seeking and government advocacy.
  • Product development: Further down the line, we will need to consider the financial cost/benefit of developing private label agricultural products (such as packaged herbs, jams, chutneys, etc.) which can be sold through Kaima’s network.

3. Engaging in the global conversation: Israel, a small country, is home to approximately 25 serious CSA farms. By comparison, a 2007 USDA report identified an astounding 12,549 CSA operations in the US. Our model is ripe for export to other countries concerned with global problems such as student dropout; economic depression; under-employment; food scarcity; and industry dominance in local market places. We are currently developing standards for community-driven, decentralized approaches to dealing with the economics of human and environmental sustainability in societies where conventional services are weak or unresponsive to the needs of the individual. Kaima, already collaborating on an international level, seeks to further promote our assertion that NGOs has within their reach the power to participate financially in support their community-based missions through income–generating activities.

MORE ON FRANCHISING

How we grant franchise status in Israel:

1. Recruitment: Kaima, which does not recruit potential franchisees, is regularly approached by NGO professionals, educators, and social workers curious about our work with youth. Inquiries come from both Israel’s large cities and outlying geographic peripheries where social services are far less available.

2. Who Makes It: After any number of preliminary meetings, candidates must spend a full trial week at the Beit Zayit farm, participating in daily activities, working side by side with our youth (7:30 – 2:30), and attending our thrice weekly educational staff meetings. At the end of the trial week, the question is asked: “Is this your passion, and are you willing to give everything up to achieve it?” After that we have a better idea if we should continue the process. If both sides agree to proceed, the candidate starts a six-month intensive preparation process which involves among other steps, selecting, leasing, purchasing land zoned for agricultural purposes; applying for NGO status with Israel authorities; developing a multi-year business plan, budget, educational vision statement and operating plan. Along the way, candidates are provided with assistance in establishing relationships with local social welfare and educational authorities. Once a contract has been signed, we help each new farm secure a multi-year start-up grant through a local educational foundation committed to our growth initiative.

3. Who Doesn’t Make It: To date around fifteen people/collectives approached us but were turned away. Reasons for rejection may include insufficient commitment to our educational philosophy; poor appreciation of the level of commitment to the challenges of farming, particularly as they relate to CSA principles; inability to attend to the bureaucracy of transforming an existing business into an amuta; insufficient management skills; lack of pedagogic experience; and absence of passion for and respect of young people as central to the farm’s success.

How we grant franchise status outside of Israel:

Kaima Beit Zayit and our sister farms frequently host academics, business and NGO leaders and groups from Europe, Africa, Asia, the UK, the US, and Australia. In one case, Fabian Bulugu, a graduate student from Tazania with considerable experience in NGO management, studied the Kaima model as part of his MA program in Glocal Community-Development Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Fabian was inspired to volunteer on the farm for the duration of his MA program after which he declared his desire to export the model. Having essentially completed an accelerated vetting process, he applied for NGO status in Tanzania, secured all necessary certification, and will come back to Israel in early 2018 for two months to complete his onsite training. We anticipate that he will begin working with youth in Spring 2018. We intend, with the right funding, to send Kaima Beit Zayit alumni and Center staff to Kaima Tanzania, hopefully in Fall 2018 to assess the model’s implementation.

A similar process is underway with Swiss educator and farm owner, Oliver Schneitter, who too has studied our model and has arranged for a large delegation of our youth to travel to Switzerland to meet his students as an initial step in understanding our work.

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Demonstrated Need

Answered previously

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Program Accomplishments

The Kaima Center for Economic Development and Educational Training was formally established in 2017. Its professionals are now responsible for managing our growing network which includes our founding farm located in Beit Zayit, and four others which have been awarded franchise status. A brief sketch on each follows:

  1. Kaima Beerotayim (Established 2015) is run by two generations of women who were using family owned land to provide limited, informal activities (birthday parties and bar/bat mitzvah celebrations) for local underprivileged children. After retiring from nearly three decades of sales and service management in Tnuva, the world’s largest kosher food manufacturer, Irit Shevach, who owns the land, heard about Kaima. So taken with our model she immediately applied for NGO status and, after an intensive vetting process, signed on as our first franchisee.
  2. Kaima Hukuk (Established 2016) was founded by a collective of four women educators and two social workers living in the north of Israel with a passion for agriculture, teaching, and social activism. The group initially sought us out to study our educational model and then determined to adopt it. Under the leadership of Efrat Noy, a graduate of the Arava Institute of Environmental Studies Tel Hai College’s Center for Peace and Democracy, and the Hofen Alternative Teacher Training Program, the cofounders bought an existing farm and turned it into an NGO. Kaima Hukuk is our second franchise farm.
  3. Kaima Nahal (Established 2017), our third franchise farm, was established on the grounds of Yesh-Meain Ecological Farm, an eco-educational farm co-founded in 2007 by Merav Carmi as a center for environmental and social awareness and a tool to encourage key changes regarding agricultural consumption and perceptions/misperceptions of abundance in Israeli society. Additionally, since 2014, Yesh-Meain, under separate management, had been running its own small-scale CSA program. In the words of the farm’s founder, “Adopting the Kaima Beit Zayit model as a social franchisee represented a natural progression in our evolution and an opportunity to do more with our resources.”
  4. Kfar Yehezkel (Established 2017), the newest farm in Kaima’s Israel network, is operated by Itay Shornik on land owned by his family. With a background in farming, scouting, education, and eco-tourism, Itay had spent a number of years traveling throughout Israel, studying both permaculture and education in order to make a positive social impact with his family legacy. Once he learned about Kaima, he felt he had found the right match.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

CURRENT IN-HOUSE EVALUATION PROCESS FOR EACH FARM

Evaluation data are culled from participant feedback and social work and other staff input. Presently, we are interested in assessing the following:

Educational impact:

  • Satisfaction and attitudinal and behavioral changes.
  • Ability to develop problem solving skills, follow a plan, and meet expectations of oneself and others.
  • Readiness to assume new challenges beyond basic requirements.

Organizational capacity:

  • To contend with recruitment and public funding challenges which persist in spite of genuine need
  • To provide meaningful training programs for our educational partners which include other NGOs.
  • To bring more educational authorities onboard as stronger financial partners and encourage them to understand the erroneous notion and negative socio-economic implications of “one size fits all” educational policies.
  • To add new program elements or export our model for use by other NGO’s, forth sector enterprises or social businesses, both in Israel and abroad.

Financial/Business:

  • Sales relative to costs
  • Crop quality
  • CSA customer satisfaction
  • Capacity to scale up geographically

PENDING EXTERNAL EVALUATION PROCESS (BEIT ZAYIT)

In early 2018, our founding farm, Kaima Beit Zayit, will undertake a serious externally-facilitated evaluation which will solicit information from project alumni to assess both short- and long-term impact. The evaluation’s parameters will assess advancement after program completion by tracking the number of participants who return to school and matriculate, continue onto the army or national service, secure meaningful work, stay out of trouble with the law, maintain drug and alcohol free lifestyles (for those who came to us as addicts), and report on increased self-esteem and progress in their personal relationships. Ultimately, the mechanisms will be shared with the entire network. Further down the line, we may also want to quantify the cost/benefit of investing public resources in alternative education based on the Kaima model.

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Kaima Community Cultivation Project

About

As a Jerusalem Model partner, Amutat Kaima is actively engaged in the city’s exciting revitalization efforts through Kaima Farm and our hydroponic greenhouse, collectively Jerusalem’s only non-profit commercial agricultural operations. Particularly innovative about the proposed endeavor is the centrality of both Jerusalem youth and the city. 


Our farm, established in 2013, spread over 4.5 acres, is nestled on ancient terraced land now used for agricultural purposes, educational programming, and community engagement. Our hydroponic greenhouse, established in 2015 (with previous support from Natan and the Leichtag Foundation) is located on the grounds of the Jerusalem Botanical Garden, which, like Kaima, brings together people of all backgrounds in the quest to connect them to nature. 


Committed to expanding the scope/reach of our contribution to the Jerusalem renewal movement, Amutat Kaima, a pioneer in implementing both traditional and hi-tech agriculture in urban environments, seeks to launch the Community Cultivation Project, an initiative whose name reflects the dual meaning behind cultivating both the land and a sense of identification with one’s community. The project will allow us to:


1. Engage Jerusalemites in regenerating abandoned, though culturally significant terraced land along Jerusalem’s green lung to serve the holistic needs of the community, at the center of which is our work with youth. 


2. Encourage Jerusalemites to re-imagine their neighborhoods/work places by a) repurposing underutilized spaces (private/public gardens, rooftops, school grounds, etc.) or b) creating new pocket gardens and public meeting places which incorporate nature into their design as a legitimate source of community, food and beautification.


3. Define inspiring (and fun) physical spaces within with Jerusalemites can participate in cross-cultural programming on subjects of just, equitable and sustainable food systems, food cultivation/consumption, and resource utilization.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

There are three key elements of our mission: 


1. Placemaking: Revitalize a small parcel of farm land, which, though not suitable for commercial agricultural endeavor, is perfect for the type of educational work we are increasingly doing with the general public. The idea is to connect stakeholders to the rehabilitation of much-neglected, centuries-old terracing in order to define and utilize a space of social, cultural, historical, agricultural importance to capital city inhabitants. Uniquely, we are applying classical placemaking (i.e. transforming abandoned or underutilized buildings, rooftops, and town squares into community gathering hubs) to the natural world as we seek to restore and bring the public in contact with land and ancient agricultural structures which have not been touched for hundreds of years. 


2. Community engagement: Expand our current eco-educational programming and bring together diverse populations (including Jews, Christians, and Moslems) that would not normally have the opportunity to engage with natural environments, resource conservation, urban renewal, food security and common agricultural heritage. This will a) allow users to explore the significance of such activities regarding their conceptualization of self and belonging; b) challenge the public to consider their food sources; c) stimulate entrepreneurial thought with the potential to evolve into new community collaborations; and d) inspire and provide added value to the day-to-day lives of Jerusalemites and reduce the social isolation felt in a digital age. 


3. Empowering the vulnerable: Provide new challenges for the primary population in our care -- youth who have dropped out of school. Just as they are fundamental to the success of our commercial farming activities, their participation will be key to the project’s implementation. 

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Program Description

SPACE: All activities will take place on the farm and at our hydroponic greenhouse.


  • On the farm: To implement the Program, we will need a dedicated site with the following physical upgrades: a 70 square meter (750 square feet) meeting space; a 15 square meter (160 square feet) kitchen; a 1 dunam (quarter acre) herb and teaching garden; and a compost toilet. 

  • In the hydroponic greenhouse: Beyond allowing Kaima to bring more produce to market, our hydroponic greenhouse is extensively used in our educational work with the community and in collaboration with the nearby Hub for Social and Environmental Activism.  (Note: While we are currently researching the possibility of transitioning from greenhouse hydroponic (water) to lava-based soil growing, no physical upgrades are required for the Program.)

ACTIVITIES: Below are examples of our activities, all of which will take place in the under-utilized spaces referenced above:


  • Restoration of Jerusalem’s ancient hillsides
  • Group planting and harvesting
  • Workshops on permaculture, a creative design process based on whole-systems thinking informed by ethics and function
  • Workshops on how agriculturalists rise to the challenge of farming among fields contain indigenous “Jerusalem Stone” – a vital source of pride and identity -- part of every capital city building
  • Workshops on preserving Jerusalem’s green lung
  • Urban agricultural activities for both commercial and private use
    Jewish learning focused on the contemporary relevance of biblical traditions and tractates, such as the agricultural sabbatical (Shmita) and feeding the hungry (Pe’ah) 
  • Farm-to-table community gatherings
  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Cross-cultural programming
  • Yoga in nature

BENEFICIARIES: Includes a broad cross-section of Jerusalemites, including people of all ages, religious orientation, and cultural backgrounds. Note: Additional information on beneficiaries appears elsewhere in this application. 

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Demonstrated Need

As Jerusalem struggles with issues of sufficient affordable housing, transportation, and shifting demographics, there is one consistent afterthought – green space. Most green space must be planned, particularly as policy makers re-imagine Jerusalem as a city of enormous high-rise-based neighborhoods. To provide green space to Jerusalemites, new parks and other public spaces must be artificially developed or existing assets made best use of as part of the placemaking process.

According to the Project for Public Spaces, “Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we [society] can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value.”  Kaima has at its disposal two outstanding resources which await further utilization -- one provided by nature, the other created though intentionality -- which reveal those values. Specifically, our teaching farm pays tribute to ancient agricultural practices, while our modern hydroponic greenhouse validates farming’s place in urban settings. The Community Cultivation Project will both reinterpret and address the intentions of classic place-making by:


  1. Helping Jerusalemites reclaim unused spaces for urban agriculture and create intentionality regarding their food sources.
  2. Embracing the broadest possible definition of the stakeholder by making urban agriculture accessible to all.
  3. Creating a dedicated space for Jerusalemites to encounter one another through common agricultural and renewal activities.
  4. Promoting a sense of ownership by involving Jerusalemites in hillside restoration and urban renewal activities.
  5. Encouraging non-technology-based ways of communicating and gathering by bringing urbanites into nature.

While we are already working with large numbers of the population, the Project will provide the framework to unify our outreach, make best use of our resources, and generate increased public curiosity and engagement. 

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Program Accomplishments

Select accomplishments related to our Jerusalem renewal activities follow:

  1. Established ourselves as a highly relevant player in Jerusalem’s renewal efforts, distinguished by our youth-employment work and sustainable city-farming activities.
  2. Delivered some 75,000 food baskets to our growing client base, thus significantly advancing Jerusalem’s CSA movement, introducing large numbers of the community to sustainable farm-to-table activities and demonstrating both the feasibility and desirability of investing in agricultural activities within Jerusalem.
  3. Provided eco-educational programs and hands-on agricultural experiences to 6,000 people, including agriculturalists and academics; teachers; students; the IDF; the scouting movement; venture capitalists; synagogue groups; Federation missions; NGO’s such as the Schusterman Reality Experience, ROI, and other Jerusalem Model partners; and others.
  4. Provided educational resources for city dwellers, the business sector, and the committed stewards of Jerusalem’s growing community garden network regarding practical ways to repurpose unused private and public spaces.
  5. Inspired other NGOs and schools to build their own community programs. (For example, in our latest undertaking, we are helping an East Jerusalem school establish a rooftop garden.)
  6. Established our “Annual Sukkot Open Day” holiday celebration draws approximately 400 people.
  7. Developed a four-month internship program for local and visiting academics studying Glocal International Development, an innovative MA program of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem which trains young development practitioners working with disadvantaged communities around the world. In one case, this led to the establishment of Kaima Tanzania, our first sister farm located outside of Israel.
  8. Hosted numerous international visitors from Vietnam, Korea, Europe, the US, and elsewhere in collaboration with the Hub for Social and Environmental Activism.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

While the Community Cultivation Project is not intended as a one-off initiative but rather will be integrated into our organization, in future years we will develop a formal evaluation tool similar to the one we are building with an external evaluator for our youth employment initiative, in collaboration with the “Jewish Community Farming – Field Building Initiative”. In the absence of such of such a tool, initially, we will look at the:


  1. Number of people who participate in our farm and greenhouse activities.
  2. Number of people who successfully utilize agriculture/gardening to create their own unique communities around the country and particularly in Jerusalem.  
  3. Number of people -- inspired by a renewed connection to the city’s natural green spaces and motivated to create new ones -- who choose to engage in various reclamation and sustainable agricultural activities, thus taking greater ownership of their role in re-imagining Jerusalem.
  4. Growth of our CSA customer base.
  5. Increased readiness on the part of our young farmers to assume leadership roles as part of the project’s implementation.

We will know we have succeeded when we see the flourishing of new programs and placemaking activities in Jerusalem. Though we ourselves will not establish such projects, we seek to inspire and guide others in the process. Notably, while Amutat Kaima plays a primary role in Jerusalem renewal, we wish to stress our participation a larger movement of non-profit organizations committed to influencing positive change and renewal within Jerusalem. For this reason, we will not attribute progress exclusively to our input but rather as part of a whole. 

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Scaling up Kaima’s Social Business Model

About

THE ORGANIZATION IN BRIEF: Established in 2013, Kaima (“sustainability” in Aramaic) is an educational employment program of hands-on organic farming, business learning and community involvement for Israeli teens who have dropped out of school, or are on the brink of doing so. Our main initiative, Kaima Organic Farm, located on 4.5 acres of donated land just outside Jerusalem on Moshav Beit Zayit, develops employability skills; offers work experience; teaches teamwork; encourages positive relationships with others, particularly adults; and fosters leadership and environmental stewardship. Produce is sold to the public according to the CSA (community supported agriculture) model, creating an income stream to fund our pedagogic activities and benefitting families who sign up for weekly food baskets. We currently have 200 member households, an increase of 120% in fewer than three years.

THE PROJECT IN BRIEF: Integral to Kaima’s overarching aims is the attainment of proof-of-concept as a value-added approach to economic development, and the scaled replication of the farm’s model beyond our Beit Zayit location. We seek to do this either by managing additional Kaima farms or by franchising the concept.  Kaima, an investment-ready social enterprise whose founders envisioned expansion as part of our organizational mission and vision, has proven itself ready to tackle this challenge. Why now? We have proven our capacity to develop an adaptable, replicable and scalable social business model that strategically supports our social mission and formula for financial stability. 
This has been realized on two levels:


  1. Confirmation of social return on investment vis-à-vis our pedagogic goals of: a)  motivating youth to believe in themselves, take initiative in steering the course of their own lives, and participate in normative society; and b) support the return youth of who have dropped out of school to conventional educational settings, and encouraging matriculation and military/national service. 

  2. Successful creation, growth, and implementation of revenue-generating activities. Currently, our main income stream is derived from farm sales and has enabled us to cover nearly 50% of our operating needs, a ratio which is projected to increase as our customer base grows from 200 to 250 monthly subscribers. Over the course of the coming year, an additional 5% of our budget will be offset by revenue generated though our new offsite hydroponic greenhouse project. In 2016 we also hope to assume stewardship of an established local goat farm. Related product sales will enable us to see a profit within 12 -18 months.

PROJECT PROGRESS TO DATE: Ahead of our projections, we have already initiated the process of geographic expansion. Kaima Be'erotayim, a new NGO located near Netanya, is modeling its own program on Kaima Beit Zayit’s pedagogic methodology and the CSA economic model. After three months in operation, following ongoing intensive training and mentorship with Kaima Beit Zayit, Kaima Be’erotayim is already working with youth and has started to harvest its first crops. We are in daily phone contact with them and visit the farm every two weeks for a full day of day of planning, brainstorming and learning from each other.  We will continue with our mentorship into 2016.


NEXT STEPS: The next phase of our plan is to support the formation and start-up of three new farms, two in 2016 and one in 2017.  We are in the initial stages of due diligence with potential franchise farms Kaima Hukuk (near Tiberius) and Kaima Nahalal (near Afula). As was the case with Kaima Be’erotayim, the founders (there are five of them) of the new potential Kaima farms will take part in an intensive week-long mentoring workshop (from 7:00 15:00). To ensure they adequately understand the agricultural and pedagogic challenges involved and to aid in our assessment of their capacity to become a franchisee, each founder participates separately, requiring a six-week investment of our time at this stage. The next stage will be to go to each site to understand their infrastructure and true potential. Only then will a contract be considered. 


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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Israel is not just a start-up nation in the realm of economics; it also excels, of necessity, in developing new standards in creative social ventures. In Israel, voluntary, civil society organizations employ about a tenth of the country's workforce. These critical third sector actors approach their responsibility as partners in creating content by tinkering with public policy, thinking outside the box, and creating new ways of serving society. Kaima, which encourages personal, environmental, economic and social responsibility on the part of Israeli youth, was born of the same spirit.


In early 2013, a group of young Israelis -- armed with care and concern for the next generation, experience working with troubled youth and a passion for the environment -- established Kaima as a concrete way to help change the trajectory of young Israelis falling off the social and educational grid at alarming rates. Our founders chose as their initial focus Jerusalem youth and the capital city's third sector community.


Embedded in our founder’s vision was the concept of strategic expansion, with Kaima Beit Zayit serving not only as our first farm community, but as a learning lab to imagine, develop and test new educational and income-generating initiatives. Indeed, we have scaled up pedagogically, economically and geographically, all indicating that our model is functioning and viable as intended.  Expansion efforts currently underway include the addition of our PBL Workshop; Kaima’s Hydroponic Farming Project, located offsite at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and used for farming, educational, and urban renewal purposes; certification courses with recognition provided by either government ministries or academic/vocational institutions; and our permaculture master class workshop series.

The purpose of this proposal is to secure funding to help give further launch of our nascent process of replicating the farm model outside of Jerusalem. This is to be done through the platform of social franchising. Different from commercial franchising which seeks the attainment of private profit, social franchising programs endeavor to bring about a social benefit. In our case, we will do so by responsibly granting franchisee status to other capable communities, NGOs and/or farms. The scope of this application is limited to kick-starting the process of franchising, and does not call for ongoing support of franchisee operating budgets.


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Program Description

HOW IT WILL WORK


Stage 1: Due Diligence



  • Week of intensive vetting of potential franchisees at Beit Zayit

  • Two-week daily onsite assessment for each farm


Stage 2: Following acceptance of contract



  • Full day of onsite mentoring/apprenticing by a Kaima Beit Zayit professional every two weeks for one year


Each approved franchise farm will receive a modest seed grant.  Twice a year, we will bring together the entire Kaima network as a community.


BENEFICIARIES


Kaima Beit Zayit: Expansion of our concept and impact multiplier with limited financial risk to Kaima Beit Zayit; knowledge sharing/transfer.


Kaima franchisees: Kaima operators will be given access to previously tested educational programs; professional training and ongoing mentoring; coaching on how to interface with other NGOs and government authorities; sales strategies; and spin-off effects such as increased consumer volume and improved reputation due to brand affiliation.  Simultaneously, franchisees will be able to offer paid, vocational apprentices to new cohorts of young farmers.


The philanthropic community: Funding this modestly budgeted initiative, which will help seed the training and professional support required by new Kaima farms, is an intelligent way for donors interested in furthering Israel’s impact investment ecosystem.


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Demonstrated Need

The Problem: As noted in ourCOMMON APPLICATION and substantiated through statistics from the Ministry of Education,Israeli youth are dropping out of school at an alarming rate. The reasons aremyriad, the solutions limited. However, there is a growing movement which recognizesthe value of non-traditional interventions to impart hard skills to reroute theotherwise derailed personal and academic course of many young Israelis and thepower of social business ventures in such endeavor.

Target Audience: As with Kaima BeitZayit, beneficiaries of the proposed new farms will include participating youth(recognized through Israel’s Ministry of Welfare); educational authorities; andthe community at large who will have access to locally grown organic vegetablesand other agricultural products.


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Program Accomplishments

Our modest accomplishmentswith Kaima Be’erotayim have been noted above.


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How do you measure the success of your program?

We recognize the capacity to realize our vision ofbuilding Kaima’s network as well as related inherent challenges, namely, scalingup without losing quality or impacting our ongoing organizational demands onstaff time and energy; focusing on long-term impact while also achieving short-termresults; and establishing boundaries with our franchisees even as we seek toempower them. An effective evaluationmechanism will need to be determined, taking into account input from NGOs whichhave undergone similar expansion, the academic community, and possiblyprofessional evaluators.


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