The civic service program honored by the France-Israel Cross Season

On June 7, in Tel Aviv, the France-Israel Cross Season scheduled the French-Israeli Forum for Volunteerism co-organized by the IVA and OSE.

Last June opened the Crossed Season France-Israel, which takes place simultaneously in the two countries between June and November 2018. It focuses on innovation, creation and youth, with the ambition to show the vitality of the bilateral relationship in the cultural and scientific fields, to mark a new stage in economic relations and to renew the way the French look at Israel and the Israelis think of France. The French civic service program in Israel developed since 2015 by the OSE and its partners, was in the spotlight of the first week of the Cross-Season.

The Forum on youth volunteering though civic service, proposed and jointly sponsored by the OSE and its Israeli partner IVA (Israeli Volunteer Association) has been labeled by the Cross-Season Committee as part of the official programming and benefited from joint financial support from the French Institute in Israel and the Israeli Embassy in France. This forum was held on Thursday, June 7 in Tel Aviv in the presence of representatives of the Israeli and French diplomacy, and all partners of the civic service in Israel, foremost amongst them the French Civic Service Agency. Many volunteers also came to share their life changing experience.

The speakers and participants analyzed the role played by youth and civil society in social action and bilateral Franco-Israeli relations, and the social impact in the fight against prejudice that this program promotes. They also brought up various ways to enhance the deployment of the civic service program in new sectors of activity beside social work, health and education, such as sports or the protection of the environment. Quality speakers fully committed to the implementation and success of the program, as well as many young volunteers took part in panel discussions led by diplomats and civil society specialists.

The testimonies of volunteers already suggest an impact, beyond their direct action with the beneficiaries of the medico-social structures in Israel, upon their return to France where they will be able to tell and share this experience of discovering the complex and diverse society they have found in Israel.

At OSE, we strongly believe the we are building renewed hope for the youth and the future of the French way of Living Together. That’s why all the partners are proud that Israel became so quickly the second destination of the French civic service abroad.

One day earlier, on June 6, the OSE was attending a meeting of international volunteer actors in Israel in Jerusalem at the invitation of the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs, also a partner of the OSE as part of the civic service program in Israel. During this week, visits to social and medico-social structures partnering with the OSE, hosting volunteers in civic service or likely to host in the future, were organized with the IVA and the Ministry of Social Affairs. The OSE also went to meet the volunteers currently on mission, a milestone moment in the follow-up of these volunteers throughout the year.