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Join this very unique school where at-risk youth get a second chance. Beyond the standard classes, the school offers different projects in which the students can experiment with responsibility and express their true character. 

The main project is the plant nursery - but as a volunteer, no horticulture experience is required. You will not only learn the secrets of gardening, but will also interact informally with the students, who need mentoring and positive influences in their lives.

The school is also unique due to its exceptional resources. The school has 100 students and 70 staff members! The school also has a library, a computer lab, a carpentry workshop, a music room, an arts room and a farm with small animals! This is quite remarkable in Israel - a country with limited resources.
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Location of the Project:  Jerusalem, Israel
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Project length:  Min 1 week - Max 10 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Ben Gurion Airport (TLV)
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Volunteer Work:  Gardening at a nursery, informal mentoring
Age:  18 - 80
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 3 international volunteers

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared dorm room in a hostel
Food:  Breakfast included, basic lunch provided on volunteering days at the school
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Insurance:  Comprehensive health insurance for volunteering in Israel
Orientation:  Orientation, including a walking city tour, is provided upon arrival.
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Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, round trip airport transfer (approx $40), local transportation to and from the project (approx $6/day), personal expenses, visa (as applicable)
Jerusalem is not just Israel's capital, but a cultural hub and one of the oldest cities in the world. You will be close to great cafes, the Mahane Yehuda market and other important city attractions. With just a short walk to the old city of Jerusalem, one can discover the diverse cultural experience of the Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Armenian quarters. 

The school is located in a beautiful, tree-lined neighborhood close to the residence of the President of Israel, the Jerusalem Theater, the Islamic Art Museum and much more.
 
Orientation for Volunteers Arriving Before February 2019 (included):
Your volunteer adventure will start off with a GoEco orientation at a fantastic hostel in the center of Jerusalem. The orientation is a great way to meet fellow volunteers and travelers from around the world and includes the following:
  • Volunteer preparation and travel directions to the program
  • Expert advice for travelling around Israel during and after your volunteer placement
  • Walking tour of Jerusalem, including the Old City and the famous Machane Yehuda market
  • Discount card to experience Jerusalem's vibrant nightlife
  • One-night dorm accommodations and breakfast (private rooms available for extra price)
The GoEco orientation will begin at 12:00 PM on arrival day. The next morning, you will travel to your volunteer project via public transportation. Full travel details to Jerusalem and the project will be provided upon registration.

Orientation for Volunteers Arriving in and after February 2019 (included): Orientation will take place in Tel Aviv on Sunday upon arrival. 
  • Volunteer preparation and travel directions to the program
  • Expert advice for traveling in Israel during and after your volunteer placement
  • Walking tour of Tel Aviv

At this very unique school, at-risk youth get a second chance.
The school believes in the kids and in the ultimate goodness of humankind, which guides their rehabilitation approach. They are not confrontational or forceful. They trust the kids and give them space to learn valuable skills they will be able to use throughout their lives.

One of the main projects is the plant nursery- and this is where volunteers provide the most assistance.  For the school and its teachers, the nursery is a metaphor for rehabilitation, enabling students to develop social skills such as cooperation, trust and responsibility. The nursery often receives donations of left-over plants that are barely alive, and the students learn that they have the ability to revive a plant and give it life.

The school also runs a small farm and help is always needed caring for the domesticated animals that live there.

Pending availability and with pre-approval, volunteers may also work more closely with the students in one of the following activities:
  • Ceramic studio
  • Carpentry studio
  • Informal English tutoring
Working hours: generally from 9:00 until 15:00, although this is just a guideline and the schedule may change from week to week. Fridays and Saturdays are free days.

The school has male students ages 12-18. Both male and female volunteers are welcome.

*Please note that depending on the time of year you may not have the chance to interact with the youth, especially during school holidays and breaks.


Holidays: Please note that the months of September/October have several holidays that may affect your trip. 
Internet
Internet:  There is free WiFi at the hostel.
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry facilities available for a small fee.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  You will stay at a hostel in a mixed-gender dorm room with up to 9 other people and a shared bathroom. The room is basic but comfortable and has bed linens, towels, air conditioning and a closet. The hostel is located right in the center of Jerusalem, a short walk from the Old City. If you do not want to stay at the hostel and prefer to book other accommodations, please let us know following registration. We will be able to refund you a portion of the volunteer fee and advise you about other options.
Food:  A traditional Israeli breakfast is provided in the hostel dining room and consists of breads, olives, vegetables, labaneh (a type of yogurt), coffee and tea. There is a self-catering kitchen available for your use and plenty of inexpensive restaurants and cafes nearby.
Please take note of this program's minimum requirements:
  • Minimum age 18, maximum age 80
  • Police clearance
  • High level of independence
  • Desire to work in the garden and contribute to its success
  • Basic English
  • Motivation to work with youth
During your free time you can visit the extraordinary sites in Jerusalem. There are also many attractions in Tel Aviv and adventure activities such as surfing, paddle boarding and wind surfing. Visiting other cities and attractions including Eilat, the Dead Sea and Masada are easy via public transportation. Israel has some of the best nature areas and hiking trails such as the Jesus Trail in the north and those that are in the Negev Desert.

Check out a list of tours you can join for an additional fee, here.
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