For the sixth consecutive year, students, staff and alumni of the WIZO Nir Ha'Emek Youth Village (sponsored by WIZO Argentina and WIZO USA), took a stand against the apathy surrounding the issues of poverty and hunger in Israel with their Day Without Hunger campaign.
According to the National Insurance Institute's annual Poverty Report, one out of every three Israeli children suffers from the effects of hunger and malnutrition. Under the slogan, "One in three kids is hungry", the WIZO Nir Ha'Emek students took to the streets for their annual citywide project aimed at raising awareness to the startling numbers associated with poverty in Israel.
Twenty-two local restaurants, pizzerias, kiosks and cafés in Afula answered the students' call to join their campaign and sell food to children and youth at the minimal cost of 2 NIS (58 cents) for two hours on Wednesday, February 19th, The Day Without Hunger. Every eatery that took part in the project received a framed certificate of appreciation. In addition, the Nir Ha'Emek student council sold hot dogs for 2 NIS. Representatives from the Nir Ha'Emek student council set up an information booth in Afula's main square and distributed flyers about the campaign.
The Day Without Hunger campaign also included classroom discussions and panels about poverty in Israel. Representatives of the Nir Ha’Emek student council entered classrooms and held discussions on the subject of social gaps. The panel, which featured social activists from Afula and the region, focused on the growing social disparities and the emerging inequality in the shadow of the fact that for a year there has been no elected government in Israel.
Local social activists and Nir Ha'emek students on the "Day Without Hunger" panel
"This is the sixth year that our entire school has joined together to take part in the "Day Without Hunger" project," Paz Shosho head of the WIZO Nir Ha'Emek student council said. “Our ultimate goal is to increase awareness among the public. We are already well trained at going out and enlisting local businesses and recruiting as many students as possible for the benefit of this very important cause. As teenagers, this is the least we can do to raise awareness of the difficult situation in which one in three children in Israel is a hungry child."
"This initiative comes entirely from the students of our youth village and our staff has mobilized in order to implement it," Esti Cohen (in photo above, 2nd from right), Director of the WIZO Nir Ha'Emek Youth Village, said. "This effort has grown each year with more students and local eateries taking part. We are full of pride that our students can feel compassion, be socially involved and express their opinions on this important cause. This initiative truly reflects the spirit of WIZO."
Photo Credits: WIZO Nir Ha'Emek