A New Dawn in the Negev
A New Dawn in the Negev
Organization goals and objectives: Founded in 2009, A New Dawn in the Negev is an Arab-Jewish community development organization based in Rahat, Israel. As a community-based organization, A New Dawn in the Negev is inherently attuned to the myriad challenges facing the Bedouin society, which include extreme poverty - the Negev Bedouin represent the lowest socioeconomic group in Israel - and social and cultural isolation, especially amongst the youth. The organization believes that facing these challenges at a grassroots level through education, employment, and leadership training represent the key elements for helping Bedouin youth and young adults rise out of poverty to become active, engaged citizens. Since its inception, A New Dawn in the Negev has influenced the lives of thousands of young people in Rahat.
The organization's objectives are to:
- Create an equal standard with regards to both formal and informal education
- Break the social isolation of Bedouin youth, who exist on the periphery of a periphery
- Develop a healthy sense of personal identity
- Preserve and nurture Bedouin culture as source of pride and heritage
- Imbue the both the Jewish and Bedouin communities with the values of peace, mutual respect and responsibility
After School English Program: Volunteers from around the world join the Bedouin High School students of Alnajak High School once a week in the new English center to bring fun and educational enrichment programs to the at risk population. This program is of huge benefit to the participants as it is not only a means to achieving better test results in English, but also serves as a holistic approach to cultural exchange and reflection.
Bedouin Digital Culture Center: A digital initiative funded by the UK Trusthouse Foundation. The goal of this project is to explore the transition of Bedouin society from a traditional semi-nomadic way of life into the 21st century. This project is also designed to be a practical project through which students can learn documentary skills and video editing with the hope of integrating this program as a component to the After-School English Enrichment Program.
Sarab: Strings of Change: Sarab (“Oasis” in Arabic) strives to change the bleak social reality of the Bedouins of the Negev by providing quality music education, starting with children in elementary schools. Omer Meir Welber, a regular guest conductor at the Israeli Opera, the Semperoper Dresden, and at La Fenice Venice, and who serves as the Music Director of the Raanana Symphony Orchestra, is the heart of the program and provides it with its vision.
Shared Society Project: In partnership with Merchavim, in 2015 A New Dawn and Kibbutz Kramim launched a joint forum to promote coexistence. This forum comprises of municipality officials and community leaders from the Kibbutz and Rahat. The forum members are committed and passionate about developing a better future for both Jews and Bedouins in the Negev region. As of 2017 the forum boasts members from Lehavim, Meitar, Bnei Shimon, Kramim, and Rahat. They meet regularly to work out issues and collaborate on joint projects.
German Youth Exchange Program: Aims to understand discrimination in the context of the past and the present, and empowers students to serve as advocates against discrimination. Students from Germany come to Rahat, and students from Rahat travel to Germany: living together, traveling together, and getting to know one another on a deeper level while exploring the other's culture and historical context.
Youth at Risk Employment Training Program: One of the organization's most successful programs to date, this project directs youth 15-18 years of age towards empowering opportunities for growth, through long-term employment training. Training is provided in computer literacy, business computing, smartphone repair, as well as in entry level training for medical careers. Essential soft skills are also emphasized, such as professional level Hebrew, presentation skills, and public speaking to improve their confidence and sense of professionalism. 50-70% of program graduates are enrolled in further education, and are on a path to successfully integrating into Israeli society. Over 200 youths have participated in this program over the past three years.