Gardeners Without Borders
A Unique ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran Project to Promote Employment of People with Disabilities
The recently launched, revolutionary “Gardeners Without Borders” program at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran brings the philosophy of community integration to new heights, breaking down barriers of embarrassment and bolstering daily interaction between people with disabilities and the community. With its literally groundbreaking approach, the new plan offers people with disabilities fair-wages and equal opportunity employment in a supportive and normative social setting.
Workers in the “Gardeners Without Borders” program, people with disabilities from all sections of the population, operate and upkeep village grounds, with the highlight of the program being gardening activity carried out together with students from ALEH’s special education school. Every week, gardening employees meet students at the project’s allocated lot and help them water, weed, trim, clean and fertilize the ground.
As integral members of village staff, “Gardeners Without Borders” employees recently joined other workers for a staff getaway to Eilat. For many, this was their first trip to Israel’s southern resort town.
“Gardeners Without Borders” is coordinated by Chemi Lifshitz. With great professionalism and a huge heart, Chemi is an outstanding example of involvement, proper integration and promoting quality, experiential work. Over and above his role as grounds coordinator, employees regard Chemi as a father figure, a supportive shoulder to lean on and a source of ongoing information for professional advancement.
The staff What’s App group with its daily quiz contest about professional items of interest provides one example of enrichment and advancement activity initiated by Chemi. Employees gain additional knowledge, interest and enjoyment as a supplement to the physical demands of their work.
Thanks to Chemi, “Gardeners Without Borders” retains a long-term, strong and qualitative staff.
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