Young Beduin Forest Trustees to help protect environment

KKL-JNF collaborates with Beduin communities in the Negev to protect the environment.

Newly appointed young Beduin Forest Trustees. (photo credit: ORANIT GINAT/KKL-JNF)
Newly appointed young Beduin Forest Trustees.
(photo credit: ORANIT GINAT/KKL-JNF)
As part of a new collaboration between KKL-JNF and the Beduin community in the Negev, Beduin youth were appointed to be KKL-JNF forest trustees during a tree planting event at Ben-Gurion Park in Dimona. These young people will help protect local parks and forests, and the environment as a whole.
Hundreds of young people from the villages Abu Krinat, Abu Talul, Bir Hadaj and Ksar-a-Ser, all of which are part of the Neve Midbar Regional Council, came this week for a KKL-JNF planting event at Ben-Gurion Park in Dimona, a flourishing green park in the heart of the desert that was developed and made accessible to people of all abilities thanks to the support of friends of JNF Holland. At the event, students planted herb gardens in the park for the benefit of local residents.
These activities were part of KKL-JNF’s new collaboration with the Beduin community.
During the event, KKL-JNF Southern Region staff held educational activities on the importance of protecting nature and keeping the forests clean.
Afterwards, the young people were appointed to be KKL-JNF forest trustees, who took upon themselves to protect and ensure the cleanliness of the new herb garden and their villages.
According to Oranit Ginat, KKL-JNF Community and Forest Coordinator for the Negev Mountain and Arava Region, “as residents of the Negev, it’s important that we all know how to protect the environment and the flora of the region we live in. Cooperation with the Beduuin sector makes it possible for us to transmit the value of protecting the environment and the forests that KKL-JNF believes in, to the next generation of Negev residents, regardless of religion or race. Only by being in it together will we be able to protect, develop, live and enjoy, in harmony with the forests that we all love.”
Marinet Vaknin, the director of the afterschool clubs in the Neve Midbar Regional Council, said that on this activities day, “we created a connection between the children in the afterschool clubs and 300 schoolchildren from Neve Midbar communities. The children worked together, hoeing, watering, cleaning and participating in activities by the Dimona Lake.
"During the event, they learned what KKL-JNF was about and also about the significance of the forests and Dimona Lake," Vaknin said. "The opportunity to see over 300 children wearing KKL-JNF hats and shirts created the feeling of a moving celebration. I am grateful for KKL-JNF’s initiative and for its contribution to the local schoolchildren.” 
See more photos on the KKL-JNF website