The array of social activities operated by Ayalim grew out of the desire to deal with the difficulties that are part and parcel of living in the peripheral areas of the country. The Ayalim Association sees social involvement as one of the most significant ways for students to connect and reach out to their surroundings and their neighbors. The Association therefore acts to foster continuous relationships between the students and various populations in the periphery. Ayalim’s students commit to giving 500 hours annually and in return they receive a chance to impact the lives of over 20,000 children and youth in the Negev and the Galilee.
The students of Ayalim volunteer in several projects with the communities surrounding their Student Villages.
“Ofarim” Family Center
Each Student village operates an “Ofarim” Family Center that offers after-school activities and educational tutoring to the local children and youth. The center is open 5 days a week and offers social activities, holiday celebrations and many cultural events that take place at the center involving the community.
The Greenhouse Project
Ayalim students run a unique and interactive greenhouse project in the local elementary and high schools located near their villages. The greenhouse projects provide a special learning experience for children with learning disabilities and special needs as well as at-risk youth. During the school year the ‘Ayalim’ students teach the children and youth about agriculture, botany and composting. Together they plant, water and nurture the plants and flowers that grow in the green house. Recycling and composting are also part of the green house activities.
The Ayalim Association partners with the national “Perach” program, to match university students in a ‘Big Brother/Big Sister’ mentoring relationship with the children in the local communities where the Student Villages are situated. Through the opportunity of one-on-one tutoring, the children receive specialized social and educational attention, and the Ayalim students personalize their service through an individual bond outside their studies and village duties, which in turn, exposes them to the children’s family and broader relationships in the community.