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S.H.A.L.E.M - National Service for Adult
S.H.A.L.E.M - National Service for Adult
National Service for Adult Volunteering
All around the world there is a growing recognition of the value and beneficial effects of volunteering by seniors - beneficial both for the volunteer, and for his community. Indeed, desiring to continue to lead a meaningful and productive life, retirees constitute an ever growing human resources reservoir at hand. By volunteering, they benefit from enhanced self-respect and a sense of purpose and fulfillment. They "feel needed"!
In Israel, this awareness led to the launching of the SHALEM. Movement by the Ministry of Education and the Association for Community Centers, ten years ago.
In Hebrew SHALEM. stands for – The National Service for Adults.
The Movement was founded in order to channel the talents, skills and experience of retired Israelis into volunteer programs, designed to meet a wide range of community and societal needs.
Built solely on the basis of individual volunteering, the movement is activated by the Association for Community Centers.
Headed by a Board of Directors, the SHALEM. organization consists of a
National Administration Office, a number of Topic Areas Coordinators (nationwide), and five Regional Offices who guide and supervise the running of the local Volunteer Centers in their respective region. Each such Center has its own coordinator and topic areas volunteer staff.
Currently the Movement comprises of about 8000 volunteers who operate in 80 local centers throughout the country, Jewish and Arab. All position holders are volunteers.
The founder of SHALEM is Dr. Shalom Klein, and the Managing Director is Mrs. Ornit Dekel.
Vision and Objectives
SHALEM offers the retirees an opportunity for self fulfillment and the realization of their potential, and constitutes for them a means to ensure the "soft landing" from the job world into the world of retirement. The volunteering retirees are regarded as a first rate national economic resource of outstanding professional human capital. This human resource is comprised of cumulative experience and know-how, combined with high motivation, and this unique combination helps meet pressing and ever-growing community needs.
As a social movement, SHALEM puts strong emphasis on forging a "team spirit" among the volunteers, and on enriching their free time. All this is carried out in the framework of the volunteer social clubs which operate under the auspices of the Community Centers.
Training and guidance program for SHALEM. volunteers
At SHALEM,, volunteering is regarded as an area which requires a professional approach, just like any other profession. Therefore, the Organization places a strong emphasis on providing its members with ongoing orientation and training programs relevant to the role they fulfill, in line with the SHALEM vision and mission.
At the national level, training is provided at the "Carmela Even-Ezra Center for
Volunteering", established and made possible with the donation of the Even-Ezra family.
The Center focuses on spreading the spirit and vision of volunteering, and on developing the professional skills of the volunteers. It also hosts national, regional and international conferences on volunteering issues. In addition, there are also various local training programs which are developed and implemented at the community level.
As a popular volunteers movement SHALEM offers the retirees:
· A wide spectrum of volunteering missions which are aimed to answer societal needs – within the framework of nationwide programs as well as local ones. The volunteers can select the mission which appeals to them and suits them best.
· Professional training and guidance programs.
· Social activities such as trips, parties, conferences, social gatherings, and more.
· A platform to initiate new ideas and ventures for volunteering projects
The SHALEM Movement offers its members a broad spectrum of missions in diverse fields. Following is some information on the major nation-wide projects which are the core of the Movement's activity:
SHALEM ZAHAV-BA'GAN ("Gold" – stands for "Golden Age"- in the kindergarten)
This is a nation-wide project, initiated by the Ministry of Education and run in cooperation with The Or Yarok Association for Safer Driving. SHALEM members who belong to this project commit themselves to volunteer in a specific kindergarten on a weekly basis. On their day with the children the volunteers assist the kindergarten's permanent staff and contribute from their own experience to the daily running of the place. The children are very enthusiastic about the volunteers and heartily adopt them as the kindergarten's "grandmother" and "grandfather". As part of their assignment the volunteers are implementing a designated educational program for road safety which has been developed by The Or Yarok Association. Ongoing professional training is provided.
SHALEM BA'CHINUCH (SHALEM in Education)
The SHALEM Movement has set the assistance to bridging educational gaps, and the reduction of violence in the educational system, as a major item on its agenda.
SHALEM volunteers offer their experience, time and energy to the improvement of the school climate and of the students' achievements – according to the specific needs of the school and\or child in question.
SHALEM KE'HILA ME'TAYELET (SHALEM Hiking Community)
The objective of this program is to establish hiking clubs within the framework of the Community Centers throughout the country, run by SHALEM volunteers for the benefit of community members.
SHALEM – OR YAROK (SHALEM-"Green Light", literal meaning of the title for The Or Yarok Association for Safer Driving)
In addition to the cooperation with the Or Yarok Association for Safer Driving as part of the Zahav Ba'Gan project (see above), the cooperation between these two organizations is expressed also in operating volunteer clubs whose objective is to promote road safety and prevent road accidents in their respective towns and villages.
SHALEM BANK HA'ZMAN (SHALEM – Time Bank)
The Time Bank is a community network in which each member can contribute his time and skills and in return receive a service he may need from another member of the community. This is a community program which enables time contribution by its members along egalitarian lines – everybody can contribute and everybody can receive.
SHALEM – M.L.H. (M.L.H. in Hebrew stands for : Experts at the Service of the Community)
This project aims to provide economic counseling to individuals who encounter problems in this area. The counselors are professionals – accountants, lawyers, bankers – all volunteers. This project is run under the auspices of the Community Centers and the National Insurance Institution.
S.H.A.L.E.M. and the global volunteer community
Sharing the belief that "Age is just a number, while life is what you make of it" with many volunteer organizations throughout the world, SHALEM. strives to develop close contacts with such organizations and encourages cooperation and the exchange of information, ideas and knowledge.