Along with the uncompromising demand for our citizens’ security and the ability to face reality in a wise and sensible way (as published in the previous issue of the council paper) the regional council is also involved in activities and projects initiated by various parties in cooperation with the region’s Bedouin residents. Educational and other agencies connected to the council, as well as private citizens, have been devoting time and energy to enhancing good neighborly relations. I would like to bring you up to date on some points that have recently been added.
We launched a pilot garbage removal and clean-up project in the Shepherds’ Village (Ovdat) in June. The pilot will enable us to examine and study the issue in greater depth. This is in addition to several large containers placed around the region in areas bordering on Abu-Basama lands.
We recruited the Nitzana Youth Village that responded immediately and, together with local leadership in Shepherds’ Village (Ovdat), we began initial clean-up, reaching a baseline level of cleanliness through explanation and education in the village regarding the importance of proper garbage treatment. At the same time, regular garbage removal was begun. We’ve been getting satisfactory feedback and will continue to monitor and update.
As for the last point – the council is trying to help advance a leadership program for young Bedouins created in full cooperation with the Bedouin population in various locations in Israel. The idea is to promote young Bedouins and generate discourse on leadership, values, commitment and inclusion. Although the program is only due to be launched in 2014-2015, the first seeds are already here.