We actively support Bedouin communities in Israel’s Negev region. In 2014, our contribution to activities in the Bedouin communities totaled approximately NIS 1.5 million. Mifalei Tovala, one of our subsidiaries, leads these projects and is joined by other ICL companies.
To advance the volunteer activities, we are assisted by several professional organizations to whom we provide financial support. These include Sustainable Development for the Negev, Beit Issie Shapiro, Liali Association for the Welfare of Children at Risk, the Information and Counseling Center for Higher Education, the Mother and Child Health Station in Rahat, the Nature and Parks Authority and others.
Examples of projects carried out under the program include the following:
- Operation of clubhouses for children from families with special needs. The clubhouses serve as a warm environment that provides homework assistance, enrichment, extra help, social activities and computer skills.
- Provision of individual therapy for children with developmental challenges, speech therapy and physical therapy.
- Support of the Children-at-Risk project to meet the needs of children from families in distress, including psychosocial intervention.
- Support of an occupational rehabilitation center for people with emotional disabilities.
- Provision of educational services, for children with special needs, in their natural environment.
- Operation of and assistance in kindergartens.
Employment and Higher Education
- Encouragement of a business environment providing equal employment opportunities for college graduates from Bedouin society, based on their training and skills.
- Operation of a job placement center that connects employers to applicants, including a preparation and support process for applicants, workshops and an assessment center for screening and promoting applicants.
- Training center for career and business skills.
- Encouragement and support of young people as they continue to higher education and select a profession.
- Operation of two education and consultation information centers to increase accessibility to academic education, system-wide support in coping with barriers in the community and academic requirements.
- Seminars, tours of educational institutions, assistance and guidance in preparatory courses, psychometric courses and English classes.
Enrichment, Classes and Trips
- Diverse enrichment activities, such as sports, music, arts and crafts and games.
- Trips and activities, ecological summer camps, parties, children’s birthday celebrations and more.
- Classes in dental hygiene and proper nutrition.
- Operation of the Chen Program to improve the attitudes of children and teenagers towards people with disabilities and developmental disabilities.
- Creation of social infrastructure for activities and work within the community.
- Identification and assimilation of children within enrichment programs through the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Conservation of Nature and the Environment
- Long-term process to change environmental management through education, and municipality, neighborhood, and community activities.
- Conservation of biodiversity, landscapes and ecology through the education system in the Bedouin settlements.
- Training of Authority employees, support for ISO-14000 certification.
- Joint project with Eshel Hanassi to offer practical educational experience for students in Bedouin society, linking environment, economy and agriculture.
- Development of local young leadership and raising awareness of the need to protect nature while respecting their heritage and lifestyle (e.g. shepherding, dispersing waste and using all-terrain vehicles).
- We also support the Bedouin Desert Reconnaissance Battalion. This Battalion monitors the borders with Gaza and Egypt and is staffed by Bedouin people from the Negev. The Company contributes resources to equip the battalion’s special school, including the installation of Internet infrastructure.