Having worked closely with new immigrants and disadvantaged populations all over Israel, Shaalei Tikva is keenly aware of the widening generation gap afflicting the Ethiopian Community. While Ethiopian youth have adapted well to the technological age the elders have mostly stuck to their old ways, finding no need for computers and smart phones in their daily lives. This disinclination to change is acutely felt in the Narkis neighborhood in Beit Shemesh, where the low socio-economic standing of the Ethiopian community is compounded by lack of progress among its elders, the breakdown of parental authority and deteriorating relations with the younger generation, who are becoming embarrassed by their parents.
With our strong belief that technology and information can minimize the social gaps, we plan to provide Ethiopian parents with technological skills to help them integrate into the workforce. Ethiopian youth are already exposed to the concepts of equality and education. Their parents must acquire the same awareness, which will enable them to become productive members of Israeli society and gain the respect of their children.
The planned “Kaffe Klatsch” center in Narkis is aimed to improve the plight of Ethiopian women, who are especially lacking in education and training. The program will involve the recruitment of fifteen women for a ten month course that will include: hi-tech training in a Computer Room and Information Station, workshops on educating children in the smart phone age, training participants to access their social security and health benefits online, and meetings with instructors and social workers in a relaxed atmosphere. It is hoped that the participants of this program will pass on their knowledge to other members of the Ethiopian community, and that family togetherness and a shared sense of hope will replace the current states of poverty, unemployment and criminal activity.