Youth Centers

FIDEL has been operating Youth Centers for Ethiopian-Israelis across Israel throughout the past 13 years.  FIDEL’s youth centers provide youth with personal, educational and social enrichment in underprivileged neighborhoods.

Professional youth workers serve as role models and provide personal guidance and emotional support.  FIDEL staff are lauded by Israel Police for their intervention ensuring that youth at risk find a remedial path. In cases where the youth have been apprehended, staff often succeed in having the police file (jeopardizing future IDF service) dismissed. Volunteers operate workshops, provide one-on-one mentor-ship and nurture relationships with the teens.  They include retired citizens, IDF service-year soldiers, post high school volunteers and intern volunteers from overseas.

Professional youth workers serve as role models and provide personal guidance and emotional support.  FIDEL staff are lauded by Israel Police for their intervention ensuring that youth at risk find a remedial path. In cases where the youth have been apprehended, staff often succeed in having the police file (jeopardizing future IDF service) dismissed. Volunteers operate workshops, provide one-on-one mentor-ship and nurture relationships with the teens.  They include retired citizens, IDF service-year soldiers, post high school volunteers and intern volunteers from overseas.

Objectives:

Empowerment

  • Encouraging youth to participate in enrichment programs and youth movements offered within the municipality, together with non-Ethiopian youth.
  • Broadening the horizons of the youth and raising their ambitions while helping them develop career aspirations.
  • Improving the rate of conscription and enrollment in important divisions of the IDF and national service

Prevention

  • Safe exposure to both the dangers and negative forces within their community and society at large (substance abuse, peer pressure, improper sexual behavior, crime)
  • Granting a skill set for coping with, and resisting negative temptations while preserving the youth’s personal confidence
  • Creating a safe environment that is accepting, encourages dialogue, and allows the youth to share dilemmas openly with their peers and the center’s youth workers

Youth Centers Goals

  • Individual Level: Strengthening identity and a sense of belonging within Israeli society – fortifying a solid sense of identity including pride in Beta Israel heritage
  • Group Level: Nurturing a supportive social environment with positive group dynamics as a base for support and growth
  • Community Level: Fostering a sense of belonging with an ability to impact the larger community and effect change within it
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