As the school year ends in Israel, teens and young adults are often left unattended and bored. Especially in impoverished communities, the summer months are a challenge for families who can not afford summer camp and young adults can engage in risky behaviors.
The Milah program nation-wide connects young adults with opportunities to grow and learn, especially important as the unstructured summer break begins.
This program, an acronym for the first letters of the Hebrew words, Police for Youth (משטרה למען הנוער) teaches teens at risk about the police force. It provides team and identity building activities, hoping to frame the police force as a partner not a potential foe for the young adults.
Participants, aged 13 to 17, become integrated into a local police department for exposure to all of the work this important civil service takes on from 11am to 4pm, three days a week,
The Or Akiva branch of Meir Panim is a key partner in this program in several ways. Because of the branch manager, Ilanit Hafuta’s relationship with the municipality and the police force, they turn to her for recommendations of potential participants, teens who could benefit from the experience. Meir Panim provides meals, snacks and whatever else the teens need.
At the program’s opening, Meir Panim provides a festive breakfast meal and Ilanit makes sure that all of the participants know they can turn to her for anything they need. They make sure the youth know that Meir Panim is a place to give back to during their free time, keeping them off the streets, and busy with meaningful volunteering.