You are beautiful when you are “In Your Own Way”

Our feminist venture runs deep

“You are beautiful as you are” is just one example of messages written by girls from the “Kadima Houses” network with the help of students from Seminar HaKibbutzim College. Students who participate in a course on social responsibility led by Naa’ma Goldberg, founder of the “In your own way” initiative, of the Institute for Democratic Education.

The ” In your own way” project seeks to promote greater social and democratic equality, through an in-depth discussion on gender among women from all sectors, backgrounds, and classes. The initiative helps women to make choices, both consciously and critically, in their own way, in the world in which we live.

Naa’ma has been volunteering in the “Kadima Houses” over the past few years and supports the organization’s management group. “Kadima Houses” is a network of the “Lasova” association founded by attorney Gilad Harish.

The children are referred to the organization by welfare services, and the organization enables them to spend afternoons with their parents in a caring supportive environment at our clubhouses. The clubs operate a week-long service center and both managers and staff spend most of their days there.

As part of Naa’ma’s connection with the organization, she suggested connecting the social involvement course held at the Seminar HaKibbutzim College with the Kadima Houses.

During the course, the students learned how to lead women’s circles. Circles of discourse that enable working with girls on a variety of subjects such as self-image, body image, dreams for the future, realizing desires, and boundaries. Each student led 10 meetings in one of the Kadima’s houses across Israel. The experience was so significant that some of the students will continue to volunteer next year as well.

As part of the course, they also developed together with Naa’ma, sets of cards, which were drawn by the at-risk girls. The assessment will continue to serve and assist the students in ensuing courses.

This fruitful collaboration strengthened the connection between the Institute for Democratic Education and the organization, and as a result, Noga Hilu, CEO of Kadima Houses (a graduate of the Incubator Track for our Social and Educational Initiatives), sought support for her managers.

The managers of the youth clubhouses spend most of their days there. Their young shoulders bear great responsibility. Each club has approximately 100 children and an inexpert but wonderful team of brilliant young people in a year of social service (”Shnat Sheirut”), while the manager handles all the technical and professional aspects. It is a complex challenge.

In a bonus workshop, the organization held for the managers, Michal Ben-Zaken from ‘In your own way’, facilitated a women’s circle. The experience helped the women handle the difficulties which they face as young women in managerial positions, whose work affects their personal lives. They serve as mother figures, but also need to set professional boundaries, often paying a personal price for their high level of commitment to their work.

We want to continue to provide tools for the ‘Shnat Sheirut’ volunteers to provide the at-risk youth at the Kadima houses, who are transitioning into adolescence, with the best possible role models. This is of critical importance.

We are currently trying to raise the funding for this project and we will be happy and grateful for any assistance.

For more information please contact:

naamag@democratic.co.il