What are Lighthouse Centers – Migdalor?
Lighthouse Centers – Migdalor work with adolescents who find it difficult to integrate into traditional educational institutions. At the centers youth can work on academic studies, practice athletics or music, and attend a variety of workshops on issues of particular interest to them. The center uses hobbies to provide youth with the support, equipment, space and time to practice their passion and have a social-therapeutic experience. Youths can enjoy music, photography, chess, therapeutic gardening, athletics and horseback riding and more. These activities provide youth with a nonverbal “language” to express their emotions and to channel negative or destructive energy into positive, creative energy. They serve as innovative and effective tools for working with youth from various cultural groups.
Where are Lighthouse Centers – Migdalor located?
The 8 Migdalor centers are located in cities and the neighborhoods with high immigrant populations and provide an afternoon framework of activity for the local youth. They are located in Acre, Petach Tikva, Holon, Rehovot and Kiryat Malachi. For a full map of our projects, please click here.
Who does Lighthouse Centers – Migdalor serve?
Lighthouse Centers – Migdalor serve Israeli youth aged 12-18 from varied cultural backgrounds. Forty-five percent of participants are immigrants and/or children of immigrants from Ethiopia, and 27% are from Former Soviet Union. The program also serves Arab youth, Ultra Orthodox/Charedi youth and native Israelis. These youth may be experiencing social problems, absorption and identity issues, family problems, delinquency or a tendency towards dangerous behaviors such as substance abuse or violence.
In the wake of Ethiopian protests- a large increase in the number of reports of discrimination and racism. Feelings of discrimination and severe deprivation throughout the years led to unrest that erupted in protests by the Ethiopian community.
“When I go out of my neighborhood they look at me differently, it’s obviously due to the color of my skin... I wish they would understand that Ethiopians are the same as everyone else.”Amos, 14, Rechovot
Thousands of youth, some of whom are in contact with ELEM, took part in the protests. For them, it was a meaningful and influential experience in the process of maturation. The multicultural field provided professional assistance for the youth in all of ELEMs programs including leading individual and group discussions, navigating their forces to a positive, as opposed, to violent place, and education on the topic of democracy and their right to speak out and act within the law.
Following the protests, we established a “youth parliament” that convened youth, employees, and volunteers, with the goal of facilitating dialogue and mutual learning on the subject of racism and the feelings of the participants. The youth received confidence and empowerment to share their experiences. The reports we received this year were unprecedented in number and intensity.
This year we deepened our work with parents and families of youth and young adults from various programs. This was reflected in parents evenings, activities for parents and children, family assistance during times of crisis, constant contact with parents and family members regarding the treatment of the youth and home visits.
Expansion and Development Goals
Opening three new Migdalor centers outside major cities in conjunction with Project Renewal.
Advancing social changes by participation in government committees dealing with youth immigration and children of immigrants.
Incorporating Ethiopian heritage into the school curriculum.
Establishing voluntary leadership groups for youth.