Volunteering is a human phenomenon that contributes significantly to solidarity and social cohesion. To strengthen Israeli society, bridge gaps, to promote social inclusion and expand the ability of young people to influence and take part in significant social action.
In recent years we have witnessed many developments in the world of volunteering and the advent of the field of youth volunteering.
At the Ben Shemen Youth Village, we have developed the topic of youth volunteering and have set ourselves the goal, to realize the enormous potential inherent in volunteering, as a significant tool for social integration and personal empowerment of our students.
We found that volunteering is a beneficial experience and has significant developmental implications for adolescents, with an emphasis on developing life skills, imparting values, and developing a pro-social personal identity.
We built the development of the subject on two levels:
One-time volunteering that includes one-time projects that the village groups have chosen to volunteer and lead, such as: celebrating holidays in hospitals, building shelters for animals at the petting zoo, a bat mitzvah celebration project for a girl whose parents had a hard time celebrating and more...
Along with the one-time volunteering efforts, we lead regular projects in the village that the village students take part in throughout the year, such as:
A volunteer council that was responsible for leading and developing the subject.
Youth Angels in the Community: an initiative of teens who go out to celebrate the birthdays of children at risk
Simcha Revolution: a leading volunteer initiative in which the students go out every week to make patients happy.
Volunteering in outside organizations such as the border patrol, MADA (first aid and ambulance service), the veterinary center and many other important projects.
In adolescence, being equals becomes important and central and its impact on the individual is very significant. Volunteering together provides a place to experience interpersonal relationships, social connections and gives youth a sense of belonging and security.
Youth and Community Development Programs
The village has many enrichment programs, which allow each student in the village to develop personally, to develop a personal, social and civic identity in accordance with their areas of interest. Starting from the field of agriculture, which is very developed in the in the Village, through participation in social organizations. In the village, there is an "intensive care" center for dogs and cats, where the students volunteer.
In addition to one-time volunteering, the village has a number of regular volunteer programs such as "Friends of the Alut Center", weekly hosting of young children with disabilities, "big brothers and sisters", accompaniment of young students by older students, musical ensembles that visit the pediatric ward at the " Assaf Harofeh "where they create a personal connection with children and youth who need their support and emotional connection with them. It is important to note that this connection empowers both the recipient and the volunteer.
Cooperating with our environment
Village students and staff are involved in social activities in the Modi'in Regional Council, such as a border guard course for the village's students, establishing a garden in a distressed neighborhood in Lod, along with packing packages for the "Latet" organization, other volunteering opportunities and in the future cooperation with the Aderet army preparatory program located in the Village.