On Sunday 6 November, 31 young volunteers from all over France flew to Israel. They joined 14 volunteers who had arrived at the end of August 2016, and followed the first cohort of December 2015. These young French volunteers are engaged for a period of 9 to 12 months in educational and social organizations in a dozen of cities throughout Israel. The Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs and the Israeli Volunteer Association are helping to accompany the volunteers there and make them discover the many facets of the country and its society.
To identify the most motivated, OSE examined more than 400 applications and retained the candidates for civic service for their motivation, the quality and the appropriateness of their application. For instance, Nathalie, 23, who has a diploma in social work, has strong expectations: “To discover another country, another culture … To also discover different medical and social approaches from the French ones. Finally, I also want to increase my knowledge and professional skills, in the field of psychiatry, in terms of teamwork, relationships, sharing, and any other knowledge that I could be enriching. ”
Or Cassandra, 22, who studied nursing at the hospital in Rennes and who has worked as a nurse in nursing homes, in neurology and psychiatry, will accompany adults with autism in a dedicated center of the Alut association in Jerusalem.
The volunteers had two days of training prior to their departure to Israel. On the program: a presentation on the notions of civic engagement, secularism and international solidarity, an initiation to project management and an awareness to intercultural notions, and training in first aid. The highlight of this pre-travel training was without any doubt their visit at the Israeli embassy where they were warmly greeted by Mrs. Aliza Bin-Noun, Ambassador of Israel to France, as they received a presentation of the Israeli society. They were then welcomed at the National Agency of Civic Service by its President with whom they were able to have an open discussion.
OSE received its accreditation as operator and coordinator of the International Civic Service in Israel in September 2015. OSE is fully involved in this government program on the civic engagement of French youth and intends to develop it further.