Youth Futures in Ofakim began in September 2005 with the support of UJC MetroWest NJ, the Jewish Agency for Israel and Israeli phylanthropy (each side donating one third of the funds).
The main volunteer manpower to operate this project comes from post army age youngsters from the Noar HaOved Youth Movement and local Ofakimniks .
An important factor in the success of the program in Ofakim was the recruitment of students, residents of Ofakim who passed a strict screening process and training so that they can operate as trustees. These elite group of youngsters, provide an authentic local answer for the city’s needs in addition to the groups from the outside.
They work on a “big-brother” concept, working with the children, hand-inhand integrating into their school activities, studies, after school programs and more, thereby gaining their trust. More imporantly, it enhances the ability to see the whole picture and helping the child as an entity.
This helps the child succeed in school and raise the level of his/her self confidence in life in general. Once they have improved the child’s self confidence, provided him/her with private mentors, role models and trustees, there is no limit to his/her school-related achievements.
The Youth Futures model in Ofakim consists of 3 groups of “trustees” that work individually with children aged 6-13 during the school hours and afternoons. The program also includes some highschool programs.
1. Noar Haoved
2. Garin Afikei Orot (religious)
3. Ofakim youngsters