The Children Community Center
The Children Community Center is one of the only community centers available to the migrant and refugee children in the neighborhood. The Children Community Center serves as a home for 130 children annually that by and large prevents them from wandering the streets exposed to violence and criminal activity and from participating in such activities themselves.
The Children Community Center works to engage the children in empowering artistic and educational activities, which promote both their academic achievements and their social and political capacities to advocate for their rights.
The Children Community Center sponsors four main projects:
After School Community Center
The center gives the children the welcoming and caring attention they desire, with an emphasis on educational, social and artistic work. The center operates five days a week offering a range of art, theater and music classes, alongside a study-center and structured outdoor activities.
The study center focuses on improving the children’s academic skills and advancing their capacities to deal with the academic challenges they face in school. The study center is an essential factor in supporting the children’s academic achievements and in completing a 12 year-school education, which is a stepping stone for them for the future.
Open outdoor activities
The Children Center provides, in addition to structured activities such as the study center or the classes, open outdoor activities. The main aim is to create a secure and safe place for the children of the neighborhood to play, read, meet each other, etc., in a supervised framework. The open outdoor activities take place three times a week, and they attract some 130 children, whom without this framework would probably continue to wander the streets of South Tel-Aviv. After having participated in the open outdoor activities many of the children join the more structured activities offered at the Children Center. In the open outdoor activities the children play, join story telling sessions, read, work with arts and crafts and more.
The Levinski Team (Equality is the Goal)
The Levinski Team project has been working for the past year and a half with over 45 children, at the ages of 8-17, in three groups utilizing soccer as a mean for advancing values of an equal and shared society while also promoting education among boys who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The project includes professional soccer training and nationwide tournaments, and in turn the children commit to partake in weekly study meetings and in group dynamic session.
As part of this project we embarked on a new initiative in cooperation with “The Equalizer”, in which the participants from the Levinski team meet for soccer practices and dialogue encounters with a group of Jewish children from Kfar Shalem (one of the neighborhoods in South Tel Aviv). Through these meetings the children can work through their stereotypes, fears and racist perceptions towards one another in a constructive environment that will enable them to build understanding towards one another and to establish meaningful relationships with each other.
Girls for Change
This project focuses on empowering and supporting a group of teenage girls to become agents of change in their communities. In addition it seeks to support and to strengthen multicultural and multinational relations among the participants.
Throughout the years, The Garden Library has become a meaningful social center for a group of teenage girls living in South Tel Aviv. In the past few years the group organized and met on a weekly basis, focusing on utilizing different artistic means to explore different concepts and ideas such as privacy, feminism, community, identity (hybrid identity such as African -Israeli), the environment the surrounds them and dance as cultural-political expression. In the process of their work the group produced two music videos and a short film – the girl’s version to the new movie Annie (produced in 2014). The participants of the ‘Girls for Change’ group explained their choice to reproduce the movie Annie because the original film depicts the story of a group of Afro-American girls that take action against oppression they are subjected too. The girls found inspiration in the characters motivation to take action. The Girls for Change group reproduced a scene from the original movie, using dance and song, in which the girls clean the orphanage because there is a scheduled inspection by the authorities.