(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
On the third day of the KKL JNF World Marketing Conference, the activity of the work teams reached peak level following the first two days. On the second day, the groups had visited eight projects in different locations all over the Negev and had gotten to know the people and the vicinity. The journey of the work groups had begun as an exercise in producing a marketing campaign and ended with involvement and concern for the region and its residents. The conference participants were excited to discover first hand the pioneering spirit, the initiative and the creativity of the residents of the Negev.
Unfortunately, current events often affect reality in ways different from what was originally intended. Reuven Na'amat, KKL-JNF representative to France, began the day with a review of the horrific murders of four Jews in Toulouse earlier this week. Everyone stood for a moment of silence and solidarity with the victims before beginning the day's itinerary.
The groups introduced the projects they got to know and love to the WMC 2012 participants in the form of a creative marketing campaign.
The projects visited by the groups included Nahal Oz and Kfar Aza, two communities near the Gaza border who are benefitting from the security trees planted by KKL-JNF, the Nahal Shikma recreation site, the Ben Gurion Park in Dimona, the site for the new Negev community Carmit, the green landscaping done by KKL-JNF at the METAR center for youth at risk, the MAOF educational project for children in Dimona, the green development on the Natan Army Base and the Research and Development station in Har HaNegev.
Developing the Negev is a high priority for KKL-JNF. The Negev region covers 60% of the area of the State of Israel, but includes only 8% of its population. It is very important to make the Negev home for the generations of tomorrow.
As Mr. Alon Schuster, the head of the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, told one of the KKL JNF teams, “The aim of our adversaries is to make us leave our land. Our message to them is, not only are we staying, but we are growing and flourishing.”