Brit Olam – International Volunteering and Development
“And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant (Brit Olam) between god and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth….” (Genesis 9:16)
Brit Olam (meaning – world alliance or everlasting covenant) founded in Israel in 2005, is a non-profit, non-sectarian, non-political, international volunteering and development association. Brit Olamis based on the belief that volunteerism and an active civil society are a necessary condition for a just and morally sensitive global society.
Our Vision: Brit Olam promotes values of “TikkunOlam”, social responsibility, social entrepreneurship and volunteerism. Brit Olam believes that each human being maintains the right to exist in dignity and aims to support a just, inclusive and pluralistic Israeli society. Brit Olam’s activities include sustainable and community-based projects designed to reduce poverty, hardship and vulnerability in fragile communities; humanitarian relief to victims of natural and man-made disasters; and dispatching volunteers to support and empower children, families and communities in need. Our programs strive to promote tolerance and cultural open-mindedness, and to disseminate Israeli expertise in the domains of education, health, environmental studies,agriculture, water management and alternative energy systems,assistance for refugees and disaster relief. Throughout the years, Brit Olam has operated in over 20 countries in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia, both in relief operations and development programs. In 2008, jointly with the Kibbutz Movement, Brit Olam established Natan – the Israeli International Humanitarian Relief Coalition.
How Do We Make Our Vision a Reality?
The Nazareth Child Care Center in Namelanda. Nazareth is a joint initiative of Brit Olam and Nagenda International Academy for Art and Design (NIAAD) as part of their commitment and willingness to attend to the needs of the wider community of the village of Namulanda in Uganda. The Nazerthchildcare center,initiated in 2011, is located in a poor semi-rural area, on the outskirts of the Namulanda village, a former fishermen’s village. The majority of the population in the area consists of deprived local and refugee families, who are living in very basic conditions.Due to the dramatic decrease in fishery in Lake Victoria, many of the fathers abandoned their families, leaving the children in the hands of a single mother or other relatives.
The project emerged gradually and in 2014, thanks to donations from the Kremerman Family Foundationand the Naftali Family Foundation,new classrooms were built for the center. To date, the Child Care Center educates 70 children each year between the ages of 3-6. The staff includes four teachers and a local volunteer coordinator. We are aiming to start the construction of the primary school in the village, a health clinic during the fall of 2020, if additional funds will be available.
Afaayo (Care in the Luganda language in Uganda) – Child Sponsorship Program. Worldwide millions and millions of children do not attend school, especially in developing countries. Parents often have to keep them home to help with housekeeping or to contribute to the family income. Even if of children would be able to go to school, they often would physically unable to go. The Afaayo sponsorship program gives vulnerable children from the poorest families of Namulanda rural area in Uganda, the opportunity to pursue an education that will enable them to realize their full potential and build a better future for themselves. The children enrolled in the Afaayo program are graduates of Nazareth Child care center. The program matches an individual or group of donors with a child, who they support throughout the length of their studies, from primary school to higher education (a total of up to 18 years of education). The donors receive periodic updates, letters and photos of the child and are able to track their progress throughout the period.
Israeli Medicine on the Equator IMA. The project has been operating since 2005. The project operates in the Kiboga district, one of the poorest districts in Uganda, located 120km northwest of the capital city Kampala.
IMAis based on voluntary medical teams, typically a group of 2-3 doctors and nurses who had undergone training and are volunteering for a period of approximately 3 months or more. During their time in Uganda, they work with the local medical personnel to provide medical care across the district, implementing the non-communicable diseases’ (NCDs) project to achieve the pre-determined development goals. The project runs in collaboration with the Kiboga district health authorities, e.g. the District Health Officer (DHO), the Kiboga District Hospital and clinical officers at community health centres, who are encouraged and empowered to determine goals to be achieved. Over the years, more than 100 Israeli and international medical personnel have volunteered in the project, improving healthcare delivery and standards in rural Uganda. It is a unique project in the Israeli development landscape, for its emphasis on sustainable capacity building of local communities that has been taking place for over 14 years.