Youth learn sweet new skills during summer break.
During a typical summer break, the staff at Yemin Orde Youth Village arrange job opportunities for teens as a way to preserve the positive work and personal development carried out throughout the school year.
This summer, which is far from typical for anyone, summer employment for the Village’s at-risk youth proved harder to come by. High unemployment, business closures, coronavirus restrictive guidelines and a very competitive job market resulted in few opportunities for temporary summer employment.
Thanks to the organizers of a sweet opportunity for our youth, 22 teens are attending professional baking or confectionery courses as well as a cellular technology course to compensate for the scarcity of summer job opportunities in Israel. As a result, participants are gaining new job skills for their futures and remaining productive for the duration of the summer break.
The courses are in three locations; Haifa, Be’er Sheva and Tel Aviv. Youth who remain at Yemin Orde during the summer, many of whom are from the former Soviet Union and cannot travel home under current conditions, are enrolled in the baking/confectionery course in Haifa, with transportation provided by Village staff. Other youth who live in the Be’er Sheva and Tel Aviv areas take public transportation to their courses.
"It's really fun in the pastry chef course. I am learning a lot about what ingredients go into making different pastries and other things (like cookies, cakes, etc.) It is great being with other kids my age and getting out and about. Everyone is really focused and has come to learn, creating a great atmosphere. It helps those of us who aren’t good in the kitchen and overall just an excellent course," said Salam, one of Yemin Orde's participants.
Three important goals for our youth are achieved through these classes: youth at home are busy and will stay away from potential trouble in their neighborhoods, they acquire new work skills that will help them in the future and they acquire self-esteem and confidence as they fulfill their obligations and responsibilities in the course.
The summer months are usually busy at Yemin Orde as the Village is a popular stop for visitors to Israel - from individuals and families to large groups and organized missions. Additionally, there are many outreach and volunteer programs that are typically based at Yemin Orde in which the Village's youth are active participants. The Elijah Cummings Youth Program is one such example where teens from Baltimore, MD live at the Village, forge friendships with Yemin Orde's teens, and travel throughout Israel together.