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A Platform for Giving Back and Fostering Community Growth

ESRA volunteers and students together for a day of Dale Carnegie workshops

The Israel branch of Dale Carnegie, a global organization providing professional development courses in 35 languages across 80 countries, chose ESRA as an NGO to partner with to mark their Global Day of Giving: Enhancing Relationships for Nonprofits.

The full day's activity brought together ESRA volunteers, with students from across the country who are working in ESRA projects in exchange for financial support. Together, they took part in a series of instructive and enjoyable workshops. 

Shachar Ohana, a mentor in ESRA’s SBC project

This year through its projects, ESRA is supporting over 200 students. Several of them spoke at the event about their experiences in the projects and their gratitude for ESRA's support. Among them was Shachar Ohana, a third-year Biotechnology Engineering student, working for two years in the Students Build a Community project in Akko. We'd like to share with you what Shachar had to say.

"On the 7th of October, I was called up for military reserve duty and served for 100 days, most of it in Gaza. I am a combat soldier in an artillery battalion that took part in the vanguard of the battle. I was responsible for protecting the vehicles that brought food and ammunition to the soldiers in the field.

I'd like to take this opportunity, in my name and in the name of my brothers in arms, some of whom are still serving today, to express my great appreciation for ESRA that has supported us, and continues to do so, throughout our military service, ensuring we were supplied with whatever we were missing.

Thanks to ESRA, we knew we had a home to come back to in Akko at the end of our service, and schoolchildren who missed us and looked forward to our return when we would continue to support them academically and emotionally. The knowledge that we had a mission to help improve the next generation of this country, a mission that awaited our return, added to our motivation to fight and return to help the generation in a more secure future.

The children I tutor showed interest in our military experiences, and it was important to me to tell them about it and about the positive atmosphere among the reserve soldiers.

I've returned from fighting very motivated to continue working in the ESRA Students Build a Community (SBC) project. I can see the contribution it makes in a number of ways:

Firstly, it is a meaningful contribution to the schoolchildren we mentor. We help them improve their academic achievements as well as their social behavior, which will aid them in adapting to junior high school.

Secondly, it contributes to the students who develop deep social connections in an atmosphere of mutual support, and a willingness to listen to each other, from which we all emerge stronger.

And finally, ESRA SBC contributes to the community of Akko. For instance, last year we initiated a project during which students met with Akko veterans who made Aliyah in the early years of the country. They listened to and wrote their stories and organized an event where they shared these stories. At the end of the event, each veteran was presented with a booklet of their life story, including pictures.

None of this could have happened without your generous support that allowed us to devote days and nights to the defense of the country and strengthen the future generation. With all my heart, I thank you."

 

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Friday, 19 July 2024

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