It’s been some time since the last blog post and after all the Jewish holidays it seems like a lot of things that has been in the stage of planning is now really happening. This is of course exiting but in the same time scary and challenging. I’m also starting to see the end of my internship which is very sad and not something that I look forward to. More than half the time has passed, but I’m sure that the coming weeks will be full of new experience as well as the feeling of having accomplished a lot of things and that I will use all the skills that I’ve learned so far.

There has been lots of challenges during the past weeks.  I’ve learned that to go from thinking and planning a project to actually doing it is so hard and takes so much time and reacquires tons of work. I remember that I was told in some course in the university in Lund that in building up new projects, policies, strategies and so on you have to expect all the bad things that theoretically could happen to actually happen. Therefore I understand the meaning of patience and let things take some time. I’m also starting to get a grip of what Israeli social work is and what it really means to be a social worker here. It’s a lot of found raising, writing proposals, thinking about new projects and creating partnership. It’s fun but can be frustrating and it doesn’t work out every time. So again, patience and not giving up is so important from what I’ve learned.

One thing that I have been looking forward to so much is to start the After school program, and now it’s finally happening. Tomorrow we are having our first meeting with the group and I am so exited. Even though I learn so much from working with the kids in the elementary school this is gonna be different and I’m going to get a new perspective on being a teenager in Rahat. Because there is no services for the youth in the community I hope that the students that will join the program will feel like they are exposed to new ideas, hobbies, perspectives and feel like their thoughts and opinion is important too. I’m also very happy to run it together with Danielle who has so many great ideas and I’m sure we will have a lot of fun.

We got to host the overseas students from a human rights course in Ben Gurion University to talk about the issues that exists and how the A New Dawn is working with these problems. It was a great meeting, and I got to talk about how I experienced working in the school, what the reactions has been and what I have learned. I think the most interesting part was to share my thoughts with other people with a outside perspective. I’ve noticed that I see things with my European glasses as well as they do. They asked questions about things that has become so natural to me, but that I remember that I was reacting to in the beginning. The topics of the discussion was stigma, the right to your identity and somehow also urbanization. It made me think a lot about the kids in the school and how fast their society has been changing. I also got the feeling that what I do is so little compared to the whole picture. I guess I can see this as a lesson being a social worker. I will probably always have the feeling that I could do more.

On the opposite I look back at the past months and I’m thinking about all these moments when I do something that is so simple to me, like singing head shoulders knees and toes with the first graders and they are unbelievably exited about it. I also started to practice a small dance show with groups of students. They love it and that kind of activity is so new to them. That’s the positive and amazing things that makes me feel like the cultural exchange that I bring by being there is making a difference for these kids.

Finally the Green Committee from Al Salam also got to preform the song we have been practicing with them called I am the Earth. It was a big event in Rahat and the beginning of a science program runned by people working with the Dead Sea. The kids were great! They preformed the song and a play about astronomy. Parents, teachers and students from three schools in Rahat were there. I hope that this kind of things will continue and develop in the community.

These are small glimpses of what is going on right now, but there are so much more happening. I know for sure that the coming weeks will be very busy, meaningful and evolving.

Shared with permission from Olivia’s blog: Volunteering with A New Dawn in the Negev.

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