Groups that lack exposure to the world of computers and technology often find themselves left behind in the fields of education, employment and culture as a whole. Individuals and communities with higher incomes have substantially more exposure to technology than those with lower incomes.
United Israel Appeal of Canada supports programs to reduce educational gaps among teenagers in Israeli society, with the goal of promoting an equality of opportunities in society and changing the lives of young people for the better. Our target population is teenagers, ages 12-18, in Israel’s geographic and social periphery.
One of the programs in which United Israel Appeal of Canada is a partner is the Net@ program. Net@ was established in 2003 as a unique social and communal initiative by the Tapuach Association, the Jewish Agency, Keren Hayesod and the Sysco Systems company. Net@ trains teenagers for computer and communications professions while instilling social values.
The goals of the program include:
- Encouraging teenagers from the periphery to strive for excellence and instilling a sense of personal and group responsibility.
- Creating social and technological "all-stars" who will continue to develop both personally and professionally.
- Instilling social values such as multiculturalism, democracy, excellence, pluralism, leadership and commitment to the community.
- Training teenagers from the periphery for advanced technological professions that will allow them personal, professional and social fulfilment.
- Building local and national social activism groups through activities that advance the community and reduce the digital gap.
The program is already operating in 23 communities in Israel and is led by professional, talented instructors from the fields of education and technology. Net@ has numerous achievements to date, and the demand to participate in the program far exceeds the budgetary limitations. The curriculum includes strengthening English skills and studies related to the professions of personal computer technicians and computer network technicians.
The technology instructors and social counsellors are professionals and educators from the fields of high-tech and technology that have undergone special training to instruct this program.