Children, Youth and Young Adults
Today, children, youth and young adults live in a dynamic and challenging world, where the processes of change are rapid and ever-growing. Nearly 2.6 million young people between the ages of 6-25 live in Israel. An estimated 1 in every 6 children and youth are living in a situation of risk, with 1 in every 5 young adults estimated to be coping with risk factors.
Two priorities guide JDC Ashalim's work with children, youth and young adults in at risk situations:
- Reducing the drop-out rate
- Developing 21st century skills
Reducing the Drop-out Rate
As children continue in school, they may become disengaged, experience social or academic challenges, or decide that school is not worth their time. As a result, students may dropout or may not remain fully engaged in learning. As they grow up, many of these young people may find themselves in low paying or temporary jobs, or even unemployed, due to their lack of qualifications. JDC Ashalim is committed to ensuring students remain engaged in school, preventing dropouts and giving those students who have left school opportunities to complete their education.
JDC Ashalim works with teachers, administrators, and school staff members so that they can recognize and respond to disengaged students using holistic interventions. JDC Ashalim also develops programs to train teachers to respond to challenging students in appropriate and effective ways. For students who have already left school, JDC Ashalim has developed programs to enable them to develop marketable skills and to complete their high school diploma while receiving social and emotional support. All of these programs aim to decrease the number of Israelis without a basic level of education.
Developing 21st Century Skills
Childhood, youth and young adulthood are critical times for developing abilities needed later on in life. At-risk young people lack many opportunities to develop the skills needed to maintain stable friendships and stable jobs. For children, youth and young adults with special needs, social isolation and marginalization may prevent them from reaching their full potential. JDC Ashalim develops innovative programs to ensure that young Israelis have the opportunity to learn the skills that will help them lead successful lives.
JDC Ashalim has developed formal and informal school activities, volunteering opportunities, employment and entrepreneurship initiatives to broaden horizons and provide young people with engaging learning experiences. Some programs work to give at risk youth and young adults the opportunity to develop goals and skills for their future careers. Others give children with special needs a chance to participate in youth movements and volunteering initiatives. Such initiatives aim to ensure that every Israeli young person has a chance to grow and develop their skill sets, to lead fulfilling lives that contribute to the development of the State of Israel.
JDC Ashalim's goals for ages 6-25
- Developing personal abilities that will prepare children to cope with periods of crisis or extreme stress.
- Developing meaningful learning in educational spaces and maximizing the sense of competence among children.
- The development of emotional, physical and healthy well-being among boys and girls, as well as developing a perception of competence.
- Cultivating professional and technological skills among youth that will be suitable for the labor market in the 21st century.