Rahat Citizen Rights Center
The Citizen Rights Center of Rahat serves as an integral resource for the city’s residents and the surrounding Bedouin communities. The Rahat center assists hundreds of clients each month, providing the area’s low-income residents with assistance mostly on how to access the National Insurance Institute but also on issues such as debts, food insecurity, housing and employment rights. Center Director Elham El-Camalat serves as a positive example of empowerment. Not knowing Hebrew, she moved to Israel from Jordan, completed her degree at Ben Gurion University in Beersheva and has been successfully directing YEDID in Rahat since 2006.
In the first six months of 2011 the Rahat Center served 954 low-income Bedouin residents. The Center also has nine dedicated volunteers including one student and one empowered former client.
The Center is also focused on unique empowerment programming. For example, YEDID has modified its Let's Get to Work! employment readiness program to especially fit the needs of the women of Rahat. Because it is generally considered inappropriate for Bedouin women to work outside of the home, in 2010 this course provided the 68 participants with information on how to open businesses from their home.
In partnership with the local branch of Bank Hapoalim, the Center recently ran a hugely successful Youth Financial Literacy Course for a group of 15 school children. In addition, the Rahat Center has embarked on a partnership with the Bedouin Volunteer Project of the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development. The program trained 10 teenage girls about their social rights and participants also volunteered at local schools in Rahat.
The Rahat Center is generously supported by the
Joan and Robert Arnow Foundation
and the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation