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Youth Outreach Centers
The number of “at-risk” Ethiopian-Israeli children is growing at an alarming rate. Adolescents (ages twelve to eighteen) are most susceptible to dangerous peer pressures: they are “at-risk” of dropping out of school, of partaking in criminal activities, and of abusing drugs and alcohol. These behaviors put them at the fringe of Israeli society and severely limit their prospects for socioeconomic improvement in the future.
But we can make a difference.
Members, donors, and friends of ENP must make an effort to reach out to children who cannot easily ask for help, and assist them in their returns to nurturing social environments. Essential to this solution is education about the hazards of drugs and alcohol, and perhaps even more importantly, an ample selection of proactive alternatives.
ENP's ResponseENP's Youth Outreach Centers provide safe physical havens for at-risk youth. This model provides children with critically necessary programs and staff, utilizing resources and knowledge efficiently to meet the most pressing needs of the local populations. ENP youth workers direct outreach activities in areas with dense concentrations of Ethiopian-Israeli children. They extend themselves to alienated youth, offering guidance in neighborhood centers.
Among the programs available at these centers are: computer lab courses and drug/alcohol abuse prevention workshops, DJ lessons, photography tutorials, as well as dance and martial arts classes. Sports instructors provide youth with structured athletic activities, while other community leaders help to promote proactive methods of problem solving by directing workshops in violence prevention.
ENP also works with parents to get them involved in activities at the Centers and leaders at the Centers provide them with tactics to foster more supportive home environments. Together, these factors enhance participants’ self-esteem and help them to develop a stronger connection with the surrounding community and with the State of Israel.