Israeli volunteer delegation arrives in Puerto Rico to help local youth

The Jewish Agency for Israel’s inaugural Project TEN delegation to Puerto Rico (photo credit: PR4PR)
The Jewish Agency for Israel’s inaugural Project TEN delegation to Puerto Rico
(photo credit: PR4PR)
A delegation of Israeli volunteers arrived in Puerto Rico this week, where they will be spending three months volunteering in a summer camp for local youth and rebuilding a community center.
The project is a joint venture with the Jewish Agency in Israel's Project TEN Program, "an international development program that operates volunteer centers in developing areas," according to their website, and the local non-for-profit PR4PR.
The group of women arrived in Puerto Rico, all of them after either their required army service or national service.
One of their first projects was renovating a community center in Loiza, which was damaged by the 2017 Hurricane Maria, along with students from Cornell University, several high schools in New Jersey and Massachusetts, and several local children.
“I wanted to use this time in my life to do something meaningful. I am excited to spend a meaningful time in Puerto Rico to not only help people, but to learn a new culture,” said Noa Gilad, 21, of Kfar Saba.
“The work we will do here is important, not only for the local people we will help, but for the State of Israel. We are the first volunteers from Israel to come here and I think that it will be very significant to the people we work and live with,” said Rotem Solomon, 21, of Gadera.
“It was very exciting to see these young Israelis working side-by-side with students from Cornell and local children in Loiza to help rebuild this community,” said PR4PR Founder Henry Orlinsky. “Local children need so much and everyone can do something to help them. Acts of kindness like these young people from Israel and the mainland do are so meaningful. It will positively impact the lives of local families for a long time to come.”
“PR4PR has done a tremendous job working with Puerto Rico’s youth to keep them off the streets and providing positive programming to help provide them with the skillsets to become contributing members of society,” said The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Chairman Isaac Herzog. “These young people come together for a common good – for a project larger than themselves which enables them to hone their leadership skills, develop and establish a personal and collective identity, and set in place sustainable programs that address local needs.”