The Women's Courtyard

The Women's Courtyard is a multi-cultural, community based initiative that aims at breaking social barriers and achieving equal opportunities for girls and young women living in poverty and social exclusion, ages 13-25, throughout Israel.

Location: Tel Aviv Jaffa
Year founded: 2003

Description

Founded in 2003 in Jaffa, The Women's Courtyard is a grassroots initiative that provides aid and assistance to at-risk girls and young women ages 13-25, throughout Israel. The organization's works is based on the values of social justice, equal opportunities, and the right of every woman to achieve self-fulfillment in accordance with her will, aspirations, and needs, independent of national origins, ethnicity, and socio-economic status.

The Women’s Courtyard tends to the acute physical, financial, social and emotional needs of the neglected and seemingly invisible population of at-risk girls and young women, and has been developed and guided by a distinctive model of feminist critical social work, which is gender-specific, multicultural and community-based. Our projects address a broad range of both the effects and outcomes of poverty, abuse, discrimination and exploitation of young women and girls. While those in the Courtyard’s care come from varying backgrounds, the vast majority have one unfortunate challenge in common: coping with life on the margins of Israeli society.

The organization’s vision of creating social change by addressing all aspects of girls and women’s lives is reflected in the three main projects in operation today:

  • The Open Space: serving as an all-female forum for professional guidance, individual care and group support.
  • Employment and Advocacy Project: offering tools and guidance in support of participants' efforts to lift themselves out of economic hardship.
  • Knowledge and Learning Center: leading groups and forums for young women at-risk and for professional staff in the field, with the aim of creating, developing and promoting new and innovative ways for working with girls at-risk.

The Courtyard’s central goals are as follows:

1. Creating a steady address in the community, providing accessible, flexible, daily response for all girls and young women between 13-25 years of age.

2. To improve the social and economic status of impoverished girls, allowing each girl to live a life of dignity, physical and personal safety, and realize her potential.

3. Connecting women living in marginality to the center of society, by creating a sense of belonging, strengthening personal identity, promoting shared society and providing accessibility to social mobility channels.

4. Developing innovative knowledge and practices with and for disadvantaged girls, through partnership, dialog, and joint action, with the purpose of affecting policy and striving for broad social change.

The Courtyard's model for working with the most vulnerable communities and has received recognition from professionals, academics, government and non-government agencies and as a result, The Ministry of Absorption, The Ministry of Welfare, and National Insurance requested that we open new Courtyards in Haifa, Netanya and Kiryat Malachi. Today, more than 1,000 girls and young women visit the Courtyards throughout Israel yearly. 



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