When working in partnership with an organization that emphasizes empowerment and sustainability, the issue of continuity is of great importance. With this in mind, Yahel and Friends by Nature were thrilled when five out of six of the Yahel participants decided that they would be staying on for an extra semester. Their decisions are a testimony to the passion of these wonderful individuals and to their strong ties to the community where they have been living working (and playing) for the past few months. Those staying will be joined at the end of February by the new Yahel Social Change Program participants.
While the continuing Yahel participants will carry on living in Gedera and volunteering in the afternoon through Friends by Nature, the second semester will include a new component as well: professional internships. After five months of working with the Ethiopian community, in-depth contextual learning and real improvement in Hebrew (and Amaharic!), the Yahelnikim are poised to contribute their unique skills to leading Israeli NGOs. Internships will include the Israeli Association for Ethiopian Jews (political action and advocacy organization run by and for the Ethiopian Israeli community), Tebeka (legal aid and community capacity building for the Ethiopian Israeli community), the Gedera school system, Rikma (network of young communities), Friends by Nature and Yahel.
We’re looking forward to another wonderful five months with our returnees, and excited about continuity – and new beginnings.