(photo credit: Courtesy)
Sixteen carefully selected teenagers will soon fly to India to teach first aid and disease prevention to their counterparts in New Delhi. Maccabi Health Services, the second-largest health fund, chose the youngsters from among their 1,500 "Maccabi Youth for the Community" who volunteer in its clinics and other facilities.
The teenagers, who come from the Golan Heights in the North to Eilat in the South, will cooperate with an Indian organization that runs health education projects there. The Israelis are scheduled to give lectures in English about first aid, resuscitation and health promotion. During their free time, they will visit the Taj Mahal, spend Shabbat at the local Chabad House and be hosted at the Israel Embassy in New Delhi.
The participants were chosen after undergoing a selection process that included psychometric tests, English-proficiency exams and being observed for group dynamics and presentation abilities. It is the fourth year that Maccabi has run its Maccabi Youth for the Community program in dozens of its branches around the country. The teenagers greet patients in clinics and take free enrichment courses related to medicine, diet and self-image. They are also taken on tours of operating rooms.
Maccabi's new director-general, Dr. Ehud Kokiya, said the youngsters "have a genuine desire to help and support patients... It's great to see how everybody - the patients, medical teams and the teenagers themselves - enjoys the program. Now some have been chosen to go to India, and maybe in the future we will be calling them 'doctor' or 'professor.' Then we will know we really succeeded."