Key Concepts in our Work
in our Work
Our educational approach: feminist critical pedagogy
Critical-feminist pedagogy is the educational approach that guides the organization and encourages learning through dialogue and constant reference to the context and relevance to the lives of the learners. It is a democratic educational approach that encourages equality in learning processes between the learner and the teacher, multicultural reference and representation of marginalized groups as well as critical questions relating to power relations.
The goal of critical-feminist pedagogy is to help locate the energies found in each and every one in the group, to enable active action space and partnership in decision-making, and to lead to a change and create a better reality.
Mahapach-Taghir is a feminist organization, based on feminist principles and values of sharing, equality, transparency, openness, empathy, and joint decision making. Our desire for equality is embodied in the organizational structure, methodology, and culture, which is constantly adapted to the unique needs and challenges of women in our communities, our team, and society as a whole.
We focus on working with women residing in the neighborhood, to bring about their abilities and nurture their leadership. The struggle for women’s rights, knowledge, and leadership naturally grew from our emphasis on local activity. The women in the resident group are gaining experience in entrepreneurship, concentration, and execution of community projects.
Over 15 years, we have been working in a Jewish-Palestinian partnership that is expressed in the joint management of the organization and the equal distribution of resources between the Jewish and Palestinian communities, creating and developing solidarity. On the basis of understanding that there are common problems for residents from all communities in Mahapach-Taghir, we create safe spaces for sharing the various narratives, promoting dialogue and cooperation. We promote feminist leadership and a civil-Palestinian Jewish women partnership that sees the importance of human rights.
Working in the social and geographical periphery
Mahapach-Taghir works on the social and geographical periphery with the understanding that in these areas there are social gaps, as well as neglect of infrastructure. In Israel, the neoliberal policy promotes the privatization of public services, including education and health. Established populations can take care of themselves privately, but this right is not reserved for many. The local activism that the organization promotes in the periphery, allows shared organization regarding needs, Civil involvement, and promotion of responsibility of the authorities towards citizens at a local and national level, including a change of policy.
In the communities in which we work, we create an organization of residents that define for themselves goals related to the public sphere, their life as a community, and women. Each organization sets its goals and works for these purposes through the creation of a network of local collaborations, investigation and development, and the promotion of change in neighborhoods. We work to promote local activism with a desire to transform the neighborhood from a collection of streets and buildings into a community, an organic and unified body that leads to neighborhood auctions.
We promote an alternative discourse that strives for familiarity and acceptance of each other’s narrative and needs, fosters a positive perspective on identity, and encourages inter-community solidarity and partnership based on human rights values. We promote solidarity within each community and among the different communities.
Community resilience is the ability of the community to cope with crisis situations, adapt and return to optimal functioning. In our understanding, these abilities develop on the basis of the past experience of each community. The ability of the group is greater than the ability of individuals in it, both consciously and behaviorally, because it is divided between members of the community. Thus, during a crisis, Community Resilience takes the form of a support network, which facilitates the strengthening of those weaker at a certain point, and thus community resilience facilitates the preservation of the entire community.
Building community resilience is a major role of Mahapach-Taghir. In such an unprecedented period as the corona crisis, the most disadvantaged communities, economically and socially, were affected in the deepest way. Mhapach-Taghir has long been located in these communities, has gained great trust, based on many years of work and familiarity with the needs of the community and the forces that operate in it. For these reasons, the residents’ groups, coordinators, and volunteers in the communities formed a significant support base (for example – the distribution of food and games to needy families, translation and information accessibility, extraction of rights, referral to aid lines, etc.). The crisis-time challenges are also an opportunity for solidarity and empowerment for communities and the creation of leadership (led by women) that advocates for rights and democratic participation in public life and increases the resilience of those communities.