The Ramat Hanegev community has a system of active volunteers who work in educational and community projects, in the civil guard and in a search & rescue unit. Educational institutions within council jurisdiction also offer volunteer work, which makes a significant contribution to the community and neighboring populations. The council has a volunteer coordinator who concentrates all information and ties all the loose ends when necessary.
In addition, there are two national social projects located in the region:
“Desert Shanti House” is run by the Shanti House Association in partnership with Ramat Hanegev Regional Council. Mariuma Ben Yosef, the founder, first opened her door to youths in Tel Aviv in 1984. The Shanti House dormitories provide temporary shelter and even long term solutions for runaway and homeless youths aged 14-21, regardless of their religious affiliation, racial origin or gender. The Shanti House Association takes care of young people who are in imminent danger, facing physical violence, sexual abuse, delinquency, prostitution and worse. The association also operates preventative programs for youths at risk all around the country.
Shanti House Association owns two buildings. The Shanti House in the Neveh Tzedek neighborhood in Tel Aviv, and the Desert Shanti House youth village located within the council’s jurisdiction on the road from Beer Sheba to Mitzpeh Ramon, about 5km from Kibbutz Sde Boker.
The Shanti House staff has developed a model that can be assimilated in any country seeking a solution for its youths at risk. According to our vision, our therapeutic approach will serve as a global model, and Shanti House Association will become a global umbrella organization promoting cooperation for creating a fairer and healthier world.
“Desert Spirit”, a village also located in the council’s jurisdiction, is the first therapeutic community in the southern part of the country to provide comprehensive therapy and rehabilitation for youths and adults addicted to drugs. According to the therapeutic community approach, community members come here to take part in therapy of their own free will.
The village strives to enable its graduates to return to the community equipped with personal, social and professional skills that will give them with tools for the future. Depending on individual need, the process includes completion of a high school diploma, vocational training and work experience based on the “12 Steps” method, a key therapeutic instrument, using group dynamics, which is a principal component in the rehabilitation process.