The Galila Foundation added another new Beren Fellow onto its ranks this year ( 2016) . Efrat Noy, who together with her husband and friends founded the sustainable agricultural farm in Kibbutz Hukuk, located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. This farm produces organic products sold at reasonable prices that will able to sustain the farm and its employees – most of whom are teens-at-risk. The organic crops are seasonal and harvested each week, packaged into baskets and sold to the region’s residents.
Presumably, the idea is beautiful, healthy and simple. The operation is far more challenging, mainly because of the social/educational vision of the farm, which is to employ teenagers at the ages of 15-18 who have dropped out from other educational frameworks and found a home on the farm which can receive them. The boys and girls who work on the farm, meet the definition of youth “at risk” and the hard-agricultural work is a way to kick-start a normative life for them. The farm managers are de-facto therapists and the goal is to enable this youth to work on the farm in which they will be able to find their way back into a normative life and eventually enlist in the army. The agriculture work itself is hard work in, every day in all weather conditions.
As part of Beren Fellows program, we worked with Efrat on developing the farm’s business plan and to be successful, they need – at this stage – philanthropic support to help them become more professionally sound. After witnessing the enthusiasm, passion and determination of both the instructors and the teens in the program, we invited them to the Beren Fellows program and to support activities and educational pioneering.