Join this very unique school where at-risk youth get a second chance. The school believes in the kids and in the ultimate goodness of humankind, which leads their rehabilitation approach - they are not confrontational or forceful. They trust the kids and give them the space to develop and make the right decisions.
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 - and this is where the volunteers provide assistance.
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 petting zoo with a variety of animals! This is quite remarkable in Israel - a country with limited resources.
What's not Included
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.
During the project, you will work at the school's nursery, however, this nursery is much more than just a place to grow plants. For the school and its teachers, the nursery is a metaphor for rehabilitation. 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. You do not need any experience in horticulture - you will learn all you need to know while at the school.
The students need mentoring and positive influences in their lives, and as a volunteer you will not only learn the secrets of gardening, but will also interact informally with the students. Because of the the school's philosophy of creating a space for the students to make their own decisions, the interaction you will have with the students will depend on what develops organically between you and the students while you are there.
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. Male and female volunteers are accepted.
*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.
Please take note of the project's minimum requirements:
- Minimum age 18, maximum age 80
- 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.
Orientation in Jerusalem (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
- 1 night dorm accommodation and breakfast (private rooms available for extra price)