Relationships take work! Teens don’t always just come to us, we need to come to them.
ELEM’s Outreach Van team in Kfar Kanna realized we need to raise awareness among teens that the van is an available for them. We wanted them to know that they are able to come and meet the team on the street and get support, assistance and guidance.
Our team, led by Ward Yassin, the Arab community field’s street work manager, went to the local school to speak with students directly. They talked about the van, but also educated teens about potential risky situations we encounter and how to avoid them, specifically drug use and N20.
Reaching out is important as working with at-risk youth is complicated. Sometimes it works immediately and sometimes it’s a struggle.
At times the timing is wrong and teens will take a different route. Sometimes they’ll come to us and quickly pull away. It’s hard for some to imagine we will be there without asking anything in return.
But the longer we wait, the longer we extend a helping hand. Miracles happen.
These kind of outreach endeavor help us build relationships in the community. It helps us become a familiar face. It’s part of what made ELEM a household name in Israel. It lets youth know we are aways there for them.