The Gush Etzion region is home to approximately 3,500 teens – boys and girls, Israeli-born and new immigrants, religious and non-religious. Over the past two years, in the wake of repeated terror attacks in the area and rising levels of unemployment, there has been an increase in the scope and severity of some negative social phenomena among some of the youth, including dropping out of school, violence, drugs, alcohol, and more. The target population encompasses 400 youth at risk.
We are concerned by the growth of the at-risk group and are working on different levels to address the challenge. Ongoing activities include:
– HILA project – an educational framework offering one-on-one tutoring for kids who have dropped out of the regular school system
– We have appointed coordinators to identify and locate youth at risk, counsel them, and channel their energies in positive directions, while at the same time monitoring the situation on the communal level and providing information and updates.
– A youth-at-risk unit staffed by specialist social workers and rehab therapists.
– Training for professional, workshops for parents, and more.
– Special courses offering a range of courses, activities and training for youth-at-risk, offering an alternative route for study, self-development and contribution to society. This is a joint initiative of the Community Centers Association, the Ministry of Education, the Gush Etzion Regional Council, and the Gush Etzion Foundation.