“Yedidim for at-risk youth” is an educational program who caters to approximately 850 teenagers at risk and in distress across Israel, from all sectors in the Israeli society.
The goals of the program are:
- Preventing these youth from deteriorating further and gives them the tools to overcome their challenges and to reintegrate into Israeli society as productive citizens.
- Developing life skills and occupational abilities, acquisition of tools & skills which will contribute to strengthening their Self-Confidence and break the cycle of need.
The program is based on a holistic work model that combines the provision of information, counselling and training, with sensitivity to cultural diversity and personal needs. The program combines three main components: Mentorship, group framework and community service.
One-on-One Mentorship: The participant is matched up with a personal mentor. University students with strength of character and problem solving skills are selected and trained to work with these youth one-on-one for 2 ½ hours each week. The mentor serves mainly as a support network.
Group Framework: Up to 20 participants form a group. The groups are based in local communities and led by professionally trained community coordinators. In these groups, the participants delve into discussions geared to address issues at the core of risky behavior among youth. This framework serves an additional purpose, giving the participant the opportunity to take part in normative, conventional, recreational activities thereby leaving them less time and interest to invest in antisocial or delinquent behavior.
Community Service: Over and above the youth’s commitment to meet with their mentor once a week and actively participate in group activities, as a group they are responsible to help conceptualize, develop and implement a community service project. By placing the youth on the ‘giving end’ of the spectrum rather than on the ‘receiving end’ we enhance their sense of self-worth and foster within them the desire to have a positive influence on their community.