It's hard to believe but in Israel there are more than 30,000 Israeli boys and girls, some as young as 15 years
old, who have dropped out of school.
What do they have in common? They lack a framework
to make each day meaningful and feel little - if any - hope for a brighter future.
Kaima's vision is to help these young kids turn their lives around through a program of hands-on organic farming, business learning, and leadership and community development. Kaima means "sustainability" in Aramaic. This name was chosen because it combines two ideals - love of the land and an obligation to the current generation of youth who must learn to sustain themselves into the future.
Planting the First Seed
How it Started
Organic farming and the pride which comes with growing, literally and metaphorically, can be a highly effective vehicle to connect those who feel discarded by society to something inherently meaningful. In late 2012, a group of young Israeli social entrepreneurs established Kaima as a way to apply their passion for organic farming to improve the lives of high school dropouts, particularly those unable to adapt to conventional indoor learning and adult-driven frameworks.
Recognizing the many important programs within Israel's non-profit and government sectors already providing critical support for this population, Kaima offers a unique approach built around an entirely different concept which connects skill acquisition, hands-on learning, hard work, self-determination, and, notably, financial remuneration to the message that anything is possible.
Our Operating Principles
On a physical level, the farm, located just outside Jerusalem, is a work in progress and will evolve according to shifting needs and available resources.
At present the farm consists of 12 dunams (3 acres) of land donated by families in Beit Zayit, which will serve as the hub of our educational activities, as well as land in nearby Ein Kerem.
Our operating principles follow:
Every person has the inner capacity for self-improvement.
Even the most disenfranchised, including those who have been thrown out of school and other programs, are worthy of redemption and must be both encouraged and equipped to start anew.
For some, effective learning is the result of experience, not classroom lessons.
The healing power of nature can be harnessed as part of a sustained program to transform individual lives and move people from isolation to engagement.