Because education is a particularly effective tool to combat vulnerability, Latet [To give], one of the most important charity organizations in Israel, created “Latet Youth”, which provides youth with the skills of leadership and social entrepreneurship. An axis of action precisely fitting its requirements, FSJU decided to support this Israeli program, which has a significant impact in the field.
To transform youth in sensitive situations, if not at-risk, into changemakers in their own communities by providing them with the keys to transform their future is the gamble taken by Latet Youth, which defines itself as an “accelerator of social entrepreneurship for Israel youth.” This unique program of 4 years, dedicated to young people between the age of 13 and 18, is recognized by the Ministry of Education and considered one of the most effective current youth programs. “In educating Israeli youth to be citizens aware of their environment and the problems in their community, Latet Youth aims to create an “army” of volunteers and social leaders in order to instill a new dynamic in Israeli society for a better future,” explains Amandine Saffar, head of the program within Latet.
Latet Youth has 150 groups with 2500 adolescents participating in 53 towns throughout the country. Over four years, the members of the program have gone from being spectators to agents of social change thanks to an ongoing presentation of the world of social entrepreneurship though various volunteer experiences, workshops and training as well as social initiatives that they must implement, thus developing their own leadership skills. Among the projects implemented by the youth are the learning and use of WhatsApp by isolated older people, the renovation of dilapidated apartments for families living in great poverty and the preparation and distribution of thank you cards for “invisible people” in society (security guards, maintenance personnel, etc.).
“Each year, the youth participate in seminars that offer the opportunity to get together, meet adolescents from other communities, compare their projects and realize that they are part of something bigger.”
Of the 2.5 million children in Israel, 841,000 (30%) live below the poverty line according to the alternative report by Latet. This societal inequality affects the youth coming from the social and geographical periphery in particular. That is the reason that Latet Youth makes it a point of honor to encourage diversity and brings together youth of all statuses, origins and religions: 40% are not Jewish; 30% are defined as at-risk youth; and 70% come from the periphery. Latet Youth provides all of its members with the tools and skills necessary to help them escape their situation. It also provides study grants allowing them to begin their studies more easily. In 2019, the FSJU, a loyal partner of Latet for six years in the framework of the “food security” program, also supported four groups of Latet Youth spread through the country.
“To train and support as well as teach responsibility and expose perspectives to youth whose future appeared cloudy represents a veritable revolution in the field that may truly change the situation in the long term,” explains Myriam Fedida, the director of FSJU Israel.