In the remote Negev desert, 32 kilometers southeast of Beer Sheva, lies the development town of Yeruham. For many years, Yeruham was economically depressed and suffered from image problems, but major efforts to improve the quality of life are under way.
In 2008, Ayalim established a student village of several caravans and renovated the neglected public housing area nearby, with the purpose of giving a home to young people from both near and far. Along the years, the nature of the village has changed, and today the village includes a family compound for Ayalim’s young students who have based their lives in the Negev together with 12 students, who have chosen Yeruham as a place for social action.
Part of the students residing in the village take part in the Ministry of Education’s elite program for the development and innovation of technological entrepreneurship among the young population in Israel. With Ayalim’s guidance and direction, the MindCET students engage in monthly gatherings with the local community, initiate social projects that focus on technological innovation and community enrichment in peripheral areas.
Other students are involved in numerous community activities, under the auspices of Yeruham’s Youth Association. The Youth Association targets relevant areas and populations, while Ayalim students are the facilitators of these initiatives. The programs include- working with children at local enrichment centers, organizing events in disadvantaged neighborhoods while collaborating with the local welfare office. This complex provides its residents with vibrant community life as well as affordable housing possibilities.
Ayalim’s students as well as families are devoted to life in the periphery in the Negev; they work and study in the region and engage in community work at the work within the local community. Thus, providing an array of educational activities for local children and youngsters.