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The Israeli-Palestinian conflicts is still dramatically under way, without clear prospects for a resolution, and it places the region in an unstable and unsafe situation. These circumstances determine a sense of isolation of this population from the rest of the Middle East, worsening the conditions of the more vulnerable population.

In some Israeli municipalities, local social tension is exacerbated by endemic pockets of need involving thousands of young people at risk of social deviance and exclusion.

The "I ragazzi della Luce" project is a peace workshop that welcomes young people of both cultures (Arabic and Hebrew) affected by severe financial and cultural poverty. Through this workshop - where artisan candles are produced - and cohabitation, these young people are driven to teamwork and, at the same time, they follow a professional path for which they receive economic compensation.

Project history

New Life for Children started the "I ragazzi della Luce" project in 2008.

10 years after its launch, the workshop activities have been extended to hundreds of other recipients, trough workshops in Israeli schools aimed at promoting tolerance, peace and cooperation between students.

Goals

Providing the recipients with the necessary technical skills to become "Wax Masters", by supporting them in tackling their personal issues when relating to society.

Educating the recipients on expressing their emotions correctly and relating with the members of different cultural groups.

Increasing the recipients' work opportunities by improving their professional skills.

Introducing the recipients into working life.

Reintegrating the kids who became addicted to different things in the society.

Activities

Professional-Training aspects:

  • Nine-month path to teach the "Wax Master" profession to the recipients

Aspects in preparation for the working life:

  • One-on-one meetings to follow the personal and professional growth of each recipients
  • Meetings with the kids to train them on active listening and relational communication techniques
  • Training field trips to companies and/or offices
  • Meetings with entrepreneurs and experts

Community support aspects:

  • Once a month, the recipients offer their services to senior citizens in the community
  • Eight events every year, where the recipients offer their support to hospitals or other volunteering services, such as entertainers for children

Training aspects:

  • Twelve annual training meetings on the latest teaching techniques for members of the partner association

Results

Result no.1

Every young person at risk is trained to become a "Wax Master" and supported in the development of the ability to integrate in the social context.

Result no.2

Every young person at risk possesses basic working skills and has been introduced - or is about to be introduced - into working life.

Result no.3

Every young person at risk is reintegrated in their community successfully and actively contributes to its improvement.

Result no.4

The teachers' teaching skills are strengthened.

Project no.1 (concluded)

Title: I Ragazzi della Luce

Nation: Israel

Region: Central

Locality: Givat Shaul Jerusalem

Area of intervention:

  • Scholarships;
  • Financial support to teachers;
  • Nutritional support;
  • Healthcare;
  • School building redevelopment;
  • Training;

Direct recipients: 18 kids between 15 and 18 years of age, every year

Local partner: Association Patrizio Paoletti Israel

Local representative: Asaf Percia

Duration: November 2010 - December 2013

Project no.2 (concluded)

Title: I Ragazzi della Luce

Nation: Israel

Region: Southern Galilee

Locality: Arraba

Area of intervention:

  • Scholarships;
  • Financial support to teachers;
  • Workshop redevelopment;
  • Training;

Direct recipients: 25 kids between 15 and 18 years of age at risk of marginalization or social deviance

Local partner: Association Patrizio Paoletti Israel

Local representative: Ran Oren

Duration: January 2017 - December 2018

Project no.3 (concluded)

Title: I Ragazzi della Luce

Nation: Israel

Region: Western Negev

Locality: Ascalona

Area of intervention:

  • Scholarships;
  • Financial support to teachers;
  • Workshop redevelopment;
  • Training;

Direct recipients: 25 kids between 15 and 18 years of age at risk of marginalization or social deviance

Local partner: Association Patrizio Paoletti Israel

Local representative: Ran Oren

Duration: January 2013 - December 2018

Project no.4 (active)

Title: I Ragazzi della Luce

Nation: Israel

Region: Western Negev

Locality: Ascalona; Arraba

Area of intervention: Psychological and educational training and supervision

Direct recipients: 15 operators and 50 kids between 15 and 18 years of age at risk of marginalization or social deviance every year

Local partner: Association Patrizio Paoletti Israel

Local representative: Ran Oren

Duration: January 2018 - Today