Vote for ARDC!

   

 

A Lifeline for Refugees:

I would like to nominate The African Refugee Development Center (ARDC.) It not only provides a lifeline for refugees, but a lifestyle; integral to their human dignity.

ARDC is a non-profit organization which was founded in 2004 by refugees and Israeli citizens working together to assist, support and empower refugees and asylum seekers in Israel. It gives refugees and asylum seekers access to basic social services, as well as facilitating integration, self-sufficiency and allowing them to take control in all matters affecting their lives. The ARDC advocates for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and for a humane and fair Israeli asylum policy. It provides individual counselling, humanitarian aid, education, and community development, alongside generating awareness and creating policy initiatives.

dancing ARDC

 

 

 

 

 

Why Now?

Recently, thousands of asylum-seekers have taken to the streets of Israel. They are distressed at the lack of a clear process which grants Refugee status to asylum-seekers in Israel. Their requests are ignored and neglected by the government. Those who have escaped war and terror from their own country need Israel; they need a promise of safety and they need support.

Vote for The African Refugee Development Centre to win £1,000

knitting

ARDC Achievements

The ARDC has remarkable achievements. It has served over 10,000 refugees and asylum seekers from across Africa, particularly countries such as Eritrea, Sudan, and The Democratic Republic of Congo. The ARDC reports: “an estimated 3,500 received emergency humanitarian assistance, such as accommodation, medical care and trauma counselling. A significant majority were counselled about the asylum procedure, employment and housing opportunities and received psychosocial support. In 2011 more than 700 refugees and asylum seekers accessed educational and support services, such as language tuition, through our Refugee Education Centre.”

ARDC

My Personal Experiences

I am involved with RSY-Netzer, a worldwide Reform youth movement. I lived in Israel with others from the movement for a prolonged period of time. Many of us were involved with ARDC throughout our time in Israel, and those who made Aliyah continue to support the ARDC.  We all do what we can to help the charity in whatever way we can. My personal experience with them was brief, but it was long enough for me to know that supporting their cause is vital to survival of African Refugees in Israel.

As part of their practical help, the ARDC offer refugees English and Hebrew classes. English is offered as people attending the classes may already have a basic grasp of the language through popular culture and can therefore pick up communication skills at a faster pace. I volunteered to teach in the ARDC’s English ABC 1 class, where pupils were expected to have no previous knowledge of the English. However, on arrival I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone in the class knew the alphabet and could pronounce most letters. My students had come to the class eager, and prepared to pursue all the new opportunities they could find in Israel. I was wholly inspired by the students.

After teaching at the ARDC I went on to work at a kibbutz harvesting dates. Whilst there I made a friend from Darfur. He had come to Israel by foot in 2004, after the conflict had broken out in Sudan. Him and his friends had benefited from the ARDC’s services and were living a fruitful life in Israel. Thanks to the ARDC he is living, working, communicating and doing the best he can in the circumstances. His glorious laugh will stay with me forever and is a constant reminder of the good than can be achieved by supporting the African Refugee Development Centre.

Vote for The African Refugee Development Centre to win £1,000

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About the Author

Emily Wolfson is an aspiring chef currently studying in Birmingham. She spent her gap year in Israel learning everything from Reform Zionism to ecological vegetarianism and during her time there, Emily volunteered with the ARDC. Emily is a member of the youth movement RSY-Netzer. 

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