We are looking for volunteers!

We are looking for volunteers!

We are looking for volunteers!

We are excited to announce the launch of a new volunteer program in Uganda – BRIT Global Change Makers. We are looking for motivated people looking to take part in a unique and fulfilling volunteer opportunity in a range of fields that suit the interests and skills of the volunteers, allowing you to make a real difference to communities in need.  The Brit – Global Change Makers program is a collaboration between between Brit Olam, the Israeli Volunteer Association, Inspiration Arts for Humanity, the Israel Global Initiative (IGI) and Tag. The program offers 3 month volunteer opportunities in education, agriculture, public health, arts and more. Volunteers undertake personally tailored projects within local communities in Uganda, and live in secure accommodation together with other volunteers in Project TEN’s volunteer center. Accommodation, volunteer placement, full board, preparation meeting and social and pedagogical guidance are provided. Possible volunteer placements include Nazareth Kindergarten, People’s Concern Children’s Project, Uganda Community Art Skill Development and Recycling, Little Light Childrens Center, Come True and more. The possible dates currently available for volunteering are: 23.03 – 15.06, 26.06 – 18.09 and 02.10 – 25.12. For more information contact volunteer@brit-globalchange.org.    ...

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Two New Doctors Head out to Volunteer in Uganda

Two New Doctors Head out to Volunteer in Uganda

Dr. Nika Kornitzki and Dr. Shirley Grynberg are the latest amazing volunteers to participate in the Israeli Medicine on the Equator project. The two recently headed out to Uganda, where they will spend the next few months volunteering at the Kiboga District Hospital, as well as participating in medical outreach programs and community clinics. The hospital serves as the only significant medical facility for a population of over 400,000, and sadly is significantly underresourced and understaffed. As with previous volunteers, in addition to patient care Dr. Kornitzki and Dr. Grynberg will be training local teams of healthcare workers. We wish both the new doctors the best of luck in their life-saving...

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Join our Campaign to Support the Nazareth Kindergarten

Join our Campaign to Support the Nazareth Kindergarten

The Nazareth Kindergarten recently inaugurated a brand new building, with three classrooms where the children can play and learn. Volunteers from the nearby Nagenda International Academy of Art and Design came to paint the new building and make it a fun place for the children to spend their days. The kids are all very excited at having a permanent place to come to every day! Please help to support the campaign so that we can continue to operate the kindergarten, which is being managed by local community members. We would like to say a huge thank you to Arlene Kremerman, the generous donor who enabled us to build our beautiful new...

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Facing Nepal: Training the Trainers

Facing Nepal: Training the Trainers

Over fourty local leaders and professionals from villages in the Sindulpalchowk region managed to get away from the chaos of the aftermath of the earthquakes by attending a three day seminar run by the Natan team in partnership with Nepalese psychologists, social workers and representatives from the Asian Academy for Peace and Development, and the amazing Seven Summits Women Team. In a relaxed atmosphere the participants learned post-trauma treatment methods, and received training in basic emergency medical care. Based on the tried and tested method of training the trainers, each participant was equipped with the skills not only to implement what they had learned, but also to teach others in their villages and home towns. The seminar was also attended by Gil Haskel, head of the Israeli Foreign Office Development arm MASHAV, and Israeli Ambassador to Nepal Mr. Yaron Mayer. We thank them for their support and are looking forward to a productive partnership in the future. Check out the Natan blog for more information on our work in...

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Facing Nepal: Another Earthquake Hits

Facing Nepal: Another Earthquake Hits

For a few seconds the ground shook. Only a few seconds but for those who had experienced an earthquake just over two weeks ago it felt like an eternity. The damage caused by the second earthquake to hit Nepal in as many weeks has caused further widespread damage to a country already struggling to cope with the aftermath of the worst natural disaster to hit the country in over 80 years, with tens more reported killed and thousands made homeless. We are hugely relieved to report that despite the temporary communications breakdown we were able to hear from our volunteers on the ground, who were all scared but safe. In addition to the physical dangers, the mental damage and trauma experienced by the locals was evident. “All around me people were screaming, crying and trying to escape” said Tamar Dressler, a journalist and member of the second delegation sent by Natan to Nepal, who was in a mountain village when the earthquake hit. “One woman was sure she was going to die… And all I had to comfort her with was a bottle of water”. The second earthquake has meant the needs of the local communities are even more...

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Two Israeli Doctors Already in Nepal To Help Earthquake Survivors

Two Israeli Doctors Already in Nepal To Help Earthquake Survivors

On Saturday April 25 2015, an earthquake of magnitude 7.9 devastated areas surrounding Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu. The death toll has already reached the thousands, with tens of thousands injured and made homeless. NATAN – International Humanitarian Aid is committed to immediately launch “Operation Nepal”, a series of delegations of Israeli volunteers who will go to Nepal to assist the local populations to recover and rebuild their lives following the devastation. Two Israeli doctors, Dalia and Sharon, have already arrived in Kathmandu and have begun to assess the situation on the ground. They will be backed up in the next few days by a first mission of professional volunteers who will provide first line post-trauma support to the victims, and together with local partners assess the needs of the population in order to draw up a detailed action plan for further assistance. This first mission will include health professionals (including pediatric health), post trauma specialists and logisticians. We are currently looking for volunteers – both in Israel to help with the logistics and professionals in a range of fields who are willing to travel to Nepal. If you are interested in assisting please contact us...

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Full House at Inspiration Music #2

Full House at Inspiration Music #2

A big thank you to all those who came to support Inspiration International – Arts for Humanity at our recent Inspiration Music #2 event featuring “The City Hip Hop Opera” this past Sunday, at The Saraya Theatre, Jaffa. A full house watched the extremely talented cast perform the hit show ‘This City’, which was preceded by a presentation showcasing  Inspiration’s work over the past few months. We hope you enjoyed the show as much as we did, and were able to meet other like-minded individuals dedicated to making this world a better, safer place. To be updated on future Inspiration events follow their facebook...

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Surviving Typhoon Ruby

Surviving Typhoon Ruby

Exactly one year after Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines and Natan sent out the first delegation of dedicated volunteers in our Towards the Pacific Coalition, another super-typhoon  – Typhoon Ruby, or Typhoon Hagupit – descended on the country’s coast, again wreaking havoc and creating huge amounts of damage. We are very thankful to report that Gal Vinikov, our volunteer in Guyian managed to safely survive the last disaster and that through the vigilance and foresightedness of local authorities and international organizations, many casualties were prevented. Gal is cooperating with the local authorities and in the coming days and weeks will assess the needs for our intervention around Borongan, where the eye of Typhoon Ruby hit hardest, and where hundreds of houses and livelihoods were destroyed. On a positive note, we are proud to report that our recently inaugurated community center managed to withstand the latest typhoon, and will continue to act as a focus for the community of Pagmanitan, and where Gal and her successors will run arts-based community therapy...

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Meet Two of Our Volunteers in the Philippines

Meet Two of Our Volunteers in the Philippines

Gal Vinikov and Adi Argov are two Israeli artists who volunteered their time and talents on the sixth mission to the Philippines. After studying International Relations at the IDC in Herziliyya, Gal decided to use her interpersonal and art skills to make a difference in the lives of those suffering in the Philippines. She grew up in a family that always stressed the importance of volunteering and giving back to the community, and was finally able to realize her childhood dream by joining the Natan-IRC coalition. Gal is still in the Philippines, working tirelessly to continue our work there. Originally from Rehovot, Adi received her Bachelor’s in Art from the Bezalel Academy. She is an artist and art teacher who hosts art and creativity development workshops, which she decided to put to use in helping people affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Adi joined the Natan-IRC coalition in order to apply her art and teaching skills to a new direction, and to be part of something larger than herself. Now back in Israel, Adi has been working with Natan to organize all the details of the Philippines operation from...

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Celebrating Volunteerism – One Year on From Typhoon Haiyan

Celebrating Volunteerism – One Year on From Typhoon Haiyan

On Thursday, December 11, we held an event celebrating volunteerism and commemorating the one year anniversary of Natan’s involvement in the Philippines —it was a great success! The Ambassador of the Philippines to Israel attended as our guest of honor and made a heartwarming speech in which he thanked Natan and our partners for all the work we have done in rebuilding his country, and pledged the Philippines’ ongoing commitment to Israel. We featured a small exhibition featuring paintings created by the children of Pagnamitan as part of our art therapy program. Rose Fostanes, the winner of X Factor Israel 2013, and local Tel Aviv rockers Blue Lining Band both performed, with musical numbers that had the crowd on its feet. In between performances, we were treated to speeches and video presentations by some of our partners, with whom we look forward to working in the future. Thank you to all who attended – we hope you enjoyed...

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Healing Hands

Healing Hands

Reut and Eitan, along with their son Eyal, have been in Uganda for over six months, mainly in Kiboga – volunteering in the public district hospital. They also opened an outreach clinic in Kabuye, a small village with very limited access to medical facilities. Their dream to volunteer as medical doctors in Africa was sparked a few years back when Reut volunteered in an orphanage in Kenya and in a medical clinic in Uganda. After they gained their professional training, they decided that they could be much more useful to a community in dire need of doctors and health education. With only one local doctor working in Kiboga hospital at any time, most patients are treated by under-qualified staff. Eitan and Reut are conducting regular ward rounds, making sure the patients are getting proper care and follow-up, and preventing many unnecessary deaths due to improper diagnosis and treatment. They are regularly teaching the local staff in hope to also make a lasting change. And Eyal? He enjoys wandering around town with his friends, taking trips to the jungle and sailing on the lake. The entire Brit Olam team would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank...

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Food for Thought

Food for Thought

We are hugely proud of the recent graduates of the third cycle of Furrows in the Desert (FID), a sustainable agriculture project in the Turkana Region in the northern part of Kenya. The graduates have recently completed an intensive training course focused on enabling them to grow food to support their families and communities even in semi-arid and harsh climates.   Together with our partners (MCSPA -The Missionary Community of St. Paul the Apostle, and the ACSD – the Arava Centre for Sustainable Development), Israeli farm managers and volunteers, we have trained 45 locals of the in Turkana region in the northern part of Kenya.   Each of the participants has committed to training others in their communities, and today over 100 cultivated plots are being farmed by our graduates and their trainees – a huge success in a desert region where climate change and drought has lead to high levels of poverty and severe malnutrition.    We wish the very best of luck to the next group of promising farmers who are very excited to be joining the program...

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Delegation of Deaf Volunteers to Uganda

Delegation of Deaf Volunteers to Uganda

This year, Brit Olam, in partnership with the Israeli Deaf Association, created a new and one of a kind program of a group of deaf adults who will leave this coming July to volunteer in Uganda. The volunteers will immerse in a local camp for the disabled, will provide training in various fields of knowledge and will share with others their wisdom and personal life lessons regarding dealing with their deafness on a daily basis. An amazing group of people, who learned to turn their disability into an opportunity and a great life motivation, will prove to the world how far they can go and will show their ability to give to others. The program “Crossing Borders and Disabilities” is currently in conducting an internet fundraising campaign. We ask you to take part in the challenge and donate in order to help them help others.   Update: We managed to meet our target of 20,000 NIS on mimoona!!! A huge thank you to all the wonderful supporters. We just need that final push now to make this a reality, and are now reaching out on a platform that is open to our international supporters. Join the challenge...

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The Typhoon and I

The Typhoon and I

8th November 2013. Friday. I watch the news. A powerful typhoon struck the Philippines. Something in my heart moves. My thoughts are with people on the other side of the world, who have lost everything. The pictures are harsh. The reports on the extent of the damage are difficult to comprehend. The knowledge that in a day or two, the world will move on to the next news story does not let go. Two weeks later, I’m on a plane. I’m part of a second delegation leaving for the disaster zone. With me are two wonderful female doctors and an equally wonderful trauma specialist. The next three weeks are difficult to describe in brief. Such a broad range of emotions and thoughts are possible perhaps only in such a situation. The sights are harsh. In the first days they’re hard to get used to. Piles of ruins, difficult smells. People are searching. Searching for objects in the rubble, searching for a hint of a life that was washed away by a great wave or blown away by a strong wind. Slopes of coconut trees laying on the ground, their roots in the air. They also succumbed to the wind....

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The Land of Genesis is Here

The Land of Genesis is Here

In December 2013 I began my journey to the land of genesis. In North Kenya, bordering with Ethiopia, Uganda and South Sudan lays the Turkana Desert. Not much has changed here since the days of Abraham. Most of the people of Turkana are pastoralist shepherds who live in straw huts, trade in goats and beads and live off a diet of mostly meat, milk and blood. The people of Turkana are not immune of global environmental and social changes, Droughts, hunger, lack of medicine and education are only part of the problems they face. The common solution among humanitarian organizations in places such as Turkana is distribution of food and money. Such solutions create problems. I have witnessed villages that have been established only for the sake of food distribution, where locals have abandoned their traditional way of life and herds as a source of income. They now rely solely on external aid coming from “white foreigners with money” or if you like, “Muzungu”. It is from this distress and hunger of the people of Turkana that brought the idea of creating an agricultural humanitarian program that sets to train the local people to grow their own food and...

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Experiences from Muse Uganda

Experiences from Muse Uganda

  I had been looking forward for along time to volunteer with the Muse Uganda program, examining in from afar. When I first entered the school I was naturally filled with expectations. I immediately found the students smiling faces excited to meet me and looking around I saw the walls around me covered with paintings and art crafts made by the students. The students introduced themselves and their work and apologized that they were still learning, although their art would not shame professional artists. After making our acquaintances the students escorted me to the Nazareth kindergarten not far away. I entered the kindergarten and received once again a warm welcome – the children jumped on me in excitement, ran to off to play and then formed a circle to sing together with their charming teacher Angela a song about todays activities and the months of the year.  My first day in the volunteer program was extremely touching. I felt that in one day alone I received so much love from everyone. I was filled with energy and the challenges suddenly seemed insignificant. The children and gifted students I met entered my heart deeply, which brought me to the decision...

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A personal perspective by Helen Hemley

A personal perspective by Helen Hemley

From Left to Right: Avital Banai, R., Gila Oshrat, Sharon Harel | Sitting in the Tel Aviv Cinematheque at the Women’s International Zionist Organization’s (WIZO) annual convention and listening to R. tell her story about leaving Eritrea and finding asylum in Israel, I felt as though I was hearing someone speak in a different language. This was strange because R. was the only person at the convention giving her speech in English, and my Hebrew is juvenile at best. I could, of course, understand what she was saying. However, her experiences were just so outside of anything I had experienced. My internship placement, Brit Olam, was invited to speak at the convention about the Hagar and Miriam program in order to inform WIZO’s members and volunteers about the plight of refugees in Israel. Throughout most of the speeches I spent my time writing down the facts that my supervisor was translating for me. Sharon Harel, UNHCR’s assistant protection officer, informed the crowd on laws in home countries against entering Israel where, if asylum seekers are deported, they may face up to 10 years in prison, as well as how military draft begins at age 17 and can last for...

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Youth Delegation to Uganda

Youth Delegation to Uganda

Ilanit Cohen is a law student who joined Brit Olam in 2011 as a volunteer with the Muse Uganda program. In 2012, she led Brit Olam’s Youth delegation to Uganda, Ilanit took an active role in preparing the group before they took off and guided it on the ground. “I don’t believe there are many opportunities like this in the world. I’m so blessed to have been part of such a unique mission that brings teens from such different cultures together to create not only friendships, but also a sustainable project that indeed sheds light on the world. Since this was a pilot mission at first, the Israelis were anxious to leave home and be faced with harsher living standards while the Ugandans bashful and unexpressive. After a short time, however, the students were hugging, laughing, dancing and singing together and sharing cultural traditions. While working on the project, both Israeli and Ugandan students were supportive and understanding of each other, using art and creativity as a mutual language for expression and inspiration. During the short two weeks, the students learned about volunteerism and sustainability. More importantly, they learned that if they believe in themselves, they have the power...

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Rim Tekie Solomon

Rim Tekie Solomon

  At sixteen, Rim, a daughter to Eritrean parents, fled Sudan with her mother and five younger sisters and brothers. They crossed the Sinai desert by foot and arrived in Israel, where they were placed in a detention center.  In the dention center, Rim taught herself Hebrew and translated for others. Today, Rim works with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the African Refugee Development Center (ARDC) and also volunteers with Brit Olam’s Hagar & Miriam Project, helping young asylum-seeking women during their pregnancies and first months of motherhood. Rim received the 2012 Voices of Courage Awards from the Women’s Refugee Comiission for her devoted volunteerism. “The most rewarding thing I do is my volunteer work with Brit Olam’s “Hagar & Miriam” program. I help young Sudanese and Eritrean girls who are pregnant or new mothers, who have just arrived in Israel. They often come alone, with only the clothes on their backs and the baby in their arms. They are overwhelmed by a culture and a language that are so foreign to them, and they have nobody to turn to for help. On top of that, they don’t know much about pregnancy, or childbirth or how to...

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A taste of Tanzania

A taste of Tanzania

  Sharon Avidar, member of Brit Olam‘s  Teaching Solar Cooking Delegation to Tanzania shares his expereinces: “When people ask me why I wanted to join the student delegation to Tanzania, I never understand the question. I mean, it’s a group of students, going away to one of the most beautiful countries in the world, to participate in humanitarian activities, But since they ask, I tell them that I was drawn to our delegation because to me, it was an opportunity to go off the beaten track in Africa the way only someone who’s already acquainted with a country and cares about it can take you. Our point off the beaten track – Minjingu. A village of about 6,000 people, in the Babati district of northern Tanzania, where Itai, the initiator of our delegation, had first met Paula a couple of years ago. Paula is the founder of “Mwangaza Tanzania”, our mediator in the village, and the woman we’d heard so much about while preparing for our trip. I’ll skip straight to our time in Minjingu, even though we spent the first couple of days in Arusha and in the Ngorongoro crater. The time we spent there, as an amazing...

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