Imagine living on the fringes of society, perhaps discarded by your family. Perhaps you are on the streets, struggle with drug/alcohol addiction, or are a victim of abuse. You couldn't possibly feel more alone and yet, somewhere, deep inside, you still yearn to turn things around. Now imagine someone taking a chance on you, reminding you that you are worth it!
Kaima, or "sustainability" in Aramaic, is a word that embodies society's collective obligation to preserve the environment and nurture this generation of youth well into the future.
Established in 2013, Kaima is an educational farming network that uses the tool of employment and the magic of nature to engage and empower teens and young adults, ages 15-21, as they explore alternatives to traditional educational and social settings.
Using the farm as our outdoor classroom, Kaima’s mission is to help the individual turn his/her life around through a multi-layered process combining hands-on organic farming, leadership development, business learning, and community development.
In late 2012, a group of young Israeli social entrepreneurs gathered to consider how to best 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. After a few months, with the immeasurable help of community volunteers, we broke ground on Kaima Farm, planted our first crops, and welcomed our first youth.
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 bring home the message that anything is possible.
Our Operating Principles
Every person has the inner desire and capacity for self-improvement.
Even the most disenfranchised, including those who have been expelled from school and other programs, are worthy and must be both encouraged and equipped to start anew.
For some, effective learning is the result of interactive experience, not conventional 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.
Every community has within its means the power to feed the hungry.