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Striving for Excellence

"Every child needs one adult to believe in him" Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach"

Nirim– Reaching Out to Youth at High Risk

Nirim transforms the lives of hundreds of girls and boys that are defined by the State of Israel as youth at high risk.

Nirim was founded by commanders and brothers in arms of the late Navy Seals Sergeant First Class Nir Krichman, who was killed in action in 2002. They were motivated to create a program that empowers youth at high risk, and to name it in his memory, Nirim.

 

Since 2003, Nirim provides youth at high risk an opportunity, in many cases their last, to overcome their harsh life circumstances, discover their strengths, and become self-confident and successful members of society. Nirim changes the lives of 500 teens every year.

The words youth at high risk hardly convey the magnitude of suffering and loss of hope that these children are exposed to. Physical and emotional violence, poverty, detachment and abandonment, drug and alcohol abuse, crime, low self-image and lack of confidence as well as an experience of failure from any educational framework, are just some of the toughest elements in the story of their lives.

Derived from a profound belief that every one of our adolescents, regardless of their starting point, can achieve academic and personal goals far beyond their own expectations, we employ two unique educational-therapeutic programs:

 

  • Nirim Youth Village located on the northern shore of Israel, is a unique residential setting for 100 at-risk youths aged 14 -18.  The Nirim Track is a highly intensive program for youth removed from their families by the Office of Youth Protection Authority or referred to us by the Juvenile Court as an alternative to jail.
  • Nirim in the Neighborhoods is a community outreach program currently active in socio-economically deprived, crime-saturated neighborhoods in 15 cities throughout Israel. Nirim in the Neighborhood Centers are open daily and late into the night, offering over 400 youth an opportunity to turn their lives around, facilitated by educational mentoring, outbound challenge activities and tools for parental guidance and support.

Youth at risk in Israel:

The government of Israel has estimated the numbers of youth exposed to family or external circumstances that endanger their personal health, welfare, growth and development as follows:

 

  • 430,865 children and youth are known to the welfare services and are considered at risk
  • 144,000 suffer from neglect
  • 49,000 suffer from abuse
  • 135,000 live in conflicted and violent homes
  • 70,000 youth ages 12- 18 use drugs
  • 24,500 9 to 12th graders drop out of school every year
  • 22,300 reside in homes that have a history of criminal behavior

Nirim's Target Population:

  • 14-18 year old boys and girls
  • Nirim graduates/young adults age 25 and higher
  • Having low self-expectations, low ability to achieve, low ability to positively impact their lives
  • Having a history of physical, emotional & developmental deprivation
  • From socio-economically distressed neighborhoods
  • Attaining low academic achievements chronic truancy
  • Suffering from learning disabilities and/or ADHD
  • Displaying criminal, violent, anti-social behavior, substance abuse
  • Over 40% are first generation new immigrants, cultural & social alienation

 

“I love Nirim because it gave me what I most needed and not what I wanted.
I love Nirim because it is the home I never had, that has everything in it including waking up at 4:00 AM for exercises, never ending conversations, laughter of a lifetime, games and activities that I would have never encountered – outdoors or in the classroom, the dining room or just sitting on a bench.
I always felt surrounded by the best people there are. Nirim is the family that will never turn its back on you and will always love you.
I, Michal Maman, am very proud to be part of this family and I will continue to strive for excellence.”

  

We set high targets as attainable achievements: full matriculation diploma, full military service, social engagement and personal growth.  We employ powerful and unconventional tools to achieve these goals. How do we do it?

Wilderness Therapy is a key rehabilitative component and pivotal to our success. As we trek through nature we use survival skills, marine and outbound challenge activities as intensive therapeutic mediums that strengthen self-confidence, leadership abilities, and a sense of self-empowerment. The participants learn to work as a team to achieve personal and mutual physical and psychological goals. This therapy is an integral part of their scholastic program and incorporates elements of ecology studies as part of our participants' final grades. The youth day-to-day teachers, social workers and leaders accompany them throughout the challenge activities. Wilderness Therapy is part of our teens’ personal growth and transformational process.

 

Recognition

o   2010: Nirim is a recipient of the Ministry for Social Welfare Outstanding Achievement Award

o   2012: Nirim Youth Village School was second place in the Ministry of Education Award

o   2012: Midot Seal of Outstanding Effectiveness

o   2012: Shlomi Avni, CEO & Founder of Nirim in the Neighborhoods received the Chairman of the Knesset Award

How can you help?

In Nirim's early stage, private donations and personal financial support of its founders were the major sources of funding. During the following years, as the Israeli Youth Protection Authorities, Ministry of Education, and the Welfare Ministry became aware of our excellent results, Nirim gained professional recognition and the Israeli government began to allocate budgets to finance a portion of our activities. As of 2012, The Nirim Youth Village receives 87% of its funding from government sources . This covers the basic skeleton of our costs, but it is exactly the missing funding that is required to facilitate our unique programmatic elements - the ones that make the difference. Nirim in the Neighborhoods receives 25% of its budget in government funding and the rest comes from donations.

Read more about Nirim here

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