“…turn the desert into watery pools, thirsty ground into watery springs…(Psalms 107, 35)
The southern desert of the Negev constitutes 60% of Israel’s land yet is home to only 1% of Israel’s population. Israel’s southern periphery suffers from an ongoing high negative immigration- its young adults wish to set their lives closer to Israel’s center, where there are cultural, social and occupational opportunities and less rockets attacks…
Due to the challenges of life in the Negev, not many people choose it as their home, and since the establishment of the State, this immense piece of land has remained mainly a wasted wilderness.
David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, once said: “It is in the Negev that the creativity and pioneer vigor of Israel will be tested, and this will be a crucial test” The Ayalim Association has taking Ben Gurion’s challenge upon themselves.
Ayalim has made it their goal help the desert blossom and bloom with new, vibrant, young, idealistic communities. With 6 Student Villages and 3 alumni compounds established across the Negev, it seems Ben Gurion’s dream to settle the Negev and to flourish its wilderness is on its way to become reality.
With young and energetic students now living in Dimona, Yeruham, Adiel (Ashalim), Ofakim, Yachini and Sderot, a fresh breeze of Israelis are falling in love with the Negev; a new generation of modern-day pioneers who wish to set their lives in the Negev and to be part of helping it prosper, bloom and develop.