Karmiel, literally translated as “God’s vineyards”, is a city in northern Israel. Established in 1964 as a development town, Karmiel is located in the Beit HaKerem Valley which divides upper and lower Galilee. Karmiel is a complex city, with a large immigrant community and a range of challenges – from children and youth at risk, to education needs and municipal projects in need of help.
The Ayalim Village in Karmiel was constructed in 2010, in “Oaat K-park” neighborhood, a cornerstone of the city that suffered from neglect and vandalism. Ayalim students dedicated their time to rehabilitate the park and rejuvenate the area, as well as building a functioning student village. As a result, criminal behavior has lessened and the park is gaining in its reputation for a public attraction.
Today, the Ayalim Village in Karmiel houses 34 students and 6 pre-army volunteers. The students, future engineers studying in ORT Brauda local college, divide their time between studying and participation in several volunteering programs in the local elementary and high schools. All the village residents run the after school activity center and take part in individual mentoring through the national Per’ach project.
Our students work with the youths mainly in two frameworks:
- Atid high school: the school runs a “last chance” program for youth who had dropped out of all other schools. Ayalim’s students work with these extreme cases of youth at risk personally – on a one-on-one -basis, tutoring them to improve their academic achievements. Once a year, the students and youth together produce an ODT event filled with challenges and fun.
- The New Beginnings Center caters to 70 youth at risk, arriving through the city’s welfare department. Here to, the youth receive a personal tutor from Ayalim, and once a year everybody produces an event together.
The students prepare homework with the kids, tutor them and provide a range of free activities for children from disadvantaged homes. Karmiel families praise the students for their sense of community action and the students strive to maintain and strengthen their connection with the greater Karmiel community.