Village Way works with education and social leaders in Beitar Illit to create successful programs for challenging environments.

Educators from Beitar Illit participate in Village Way workshop.
Educators from Beitar Illit in
Village Way workshop.

In an unprecedented partnership with the ultra orthodox community of Beitar Illit, Village Way Educational Initiatives (VWEI) is working with education and social welfare leaders to make an impact and help them transform the lives of the area’s high population of youth at risk.

Over a two-year period, Village Way facilitators led 25 women in a course about the Village Way principles while building a united professional team who could now work together for the first time. The Village Way course provided individuals useful tools to implement in their own school or therapeutic program, allowing a positive and transformative outcome for everyone.

Course participants included school principals and community education and social leaders.

Educators in Beitar Illit enjoyed working together on Village Way programs.
Educators in Beitar Illit thoroughly enjoyed working together on the Village Way programs.

Village Way coursework is a gift

Israel’s Ministry of Education invited VWEI to participate in a process to unite all of Beitar Illit’s agencies and professionals work in the educational and therapeutic services for youth at risk. Previously, these services did not work cohesively together.

“This is such a gift, that we now function as one professional agency,” said one of the participants in the course. “This provides a true safety net for these girls.”

Recently, government and education leaders, VWEI leadership and municipal leaders visited a number of participating educational frameworks in the city in order to speak with participants and witness, first-hand, the impact of this Village Way process.

The impact of Village Way education is immense

The impact on these women leaders and the girls in their schools and in their care was significant.

  • Working together, they were able to reduce the school drop-out rate from 30 percent to 3 percent. This means far fewer young girls will experience educational failure, become involved in drugs, crime, and more.
  • The Village Way course provided many useful tools to implement in schools or therapeutic programs, allowing each participate to better work with the girls.
  • Some changed the physical spaces, others created Tikkun Olam programming, some starting focusing on creating experiences of success, others worked Anchors in the Past and Anchors in the Future. All of these women went through a deep process that changed their thinking about how to approach their work with youth at risk and tools to improve the outcomes of their very challenging day-to-day work.
  • At the “Full Room” Program, an in-school program for girls at risk, the education leadership developed a “researching your roots” program, helping the girls find positive and empowering stories from their family history. They also worked on Tikkun Halev (repairing the heart), highlighting the girls’ strengths that they select for themselves, and creating artistic representations of these with their names to decorate the walls of the room.

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