The village of Yaffat el-Nassera is located in the margins of the Galilee, bordering Emek Israel, Nazareth, and Migdal Ha’emek and has a population of over 17,000. The Yaffat el-Nassera Community is located in the neighborhood of Marach el-Ghouzlan, which is home to approximately 4,000 residents. A substantial portion of the town’s population today are the descendants of internally displaced Palestinians from 1948 and Bedouins. Many of the residents in this neighborhood suffer from poverty and lack of educational and municipal services and infrastructure.
The Learning Community works with 68 children and 17 teenage girls. There are 11 students who volunteer there. Academic Students function as tutors in the Community and are responsible for organizing and running daily activities in the Learning Community as well as Community Action Days—community wide events, which are consistently attended by large numbers of children and their families. One community action day focused on local traditions including workshops of local Palestinian crafts, a mock traditional wedding and traditional foods. It also hosted a speaker who taught children about the history of the village before, during and after 1948.
Yaffat El’Nassera’s community has a very active Steering Committee, formed by mothers and other resident women. Under the leadership of Community Coordinator Mona Arok, the steering committee has engaged in exciting new projects and activism, with 10 active members who have taken courses on basket weaving and other traditional crafts that they now sell in the community. The Steering Committee also invented a “social banking” system where each member contributes 20 shekels to a communal pot once a month. Then, each month one woman receives this money to use at her discretion. The initiative has been very successful so far and enables the women to have a measure of financial independence in a community where women rarely do.
For further information, or if you would like to participate, please contact the Yaffat elNassera Community Coordinator.