The Aliyah and Integration Ministry has launched a generous new project to distribute some 3,400 computers to children and teenagers across the country who have recently made aliyah, as part of a new initiative to boost education.
Aliyah and Integration Minister MK Ofir Sofer (Religious Zionist Party) has also instructed ministry staff to boost the use of professional tutors, specifically to help immigrant children and youth. On Tuesday, the ministry launched a joint venture with the 2B Friendly organization, called Mitchashvim (a play on the words ‘computer’ and ‘considerate’) in order to distribute some 3,400 computers for olim aged 6 to 18 who live across the country.
'A Computer for Each Immigrant Child'
The project was dubbed “A Computer for Each Immigrant Child,” by the ministry. One of the criteria for receiving a computer is that the family needs to have made aliyah within the past decade. The joint venture represents a total investment of about NIS 4 million.
“Upon their arrival in Israel, new immigrants have to bridge many gaps such, as language and culture, as well as digital gaps,” a ministry statement said. “While mapping the needs of olim, it emerged that many children and teenagers don’t have a computer at home. In the current era, digital literacy is an integral part of the learning system in Israeli schools.”
The ministry added that the distribution of the computers will be accompanied by technical support and instruction in different languages, with regard to hardware, software and a safe consumption of social networks. The support for these issues will be run by the local municipalities.
Sofer said on Tuesday that “I am happy to announce the launch of the ‘A Computer for Each Immigrant Child’ project, that will hopefully have a big impact on the children of immigrants.” He acknowledged the fact that this project had been worked on during the term of his predecessor, Pnina Tamano Shata (National Union Party).
The minister added that “these computers will be used by the children to work on their homework and will enable them to acquire knowledge that will further integrate them into Israeli society. This project is intended to reduce the social gap between immigrants and veteran Israelis, as well as offering equal opportunities for olim.
“In the Western world, a computer is an important tool for acquiring knowledge and can reduce educational gaps, as well as assist with the acquisition of the Hebrew language through online courses.” Sofer concluded that “with God’s help, I will continue to work for the optimal integration of the immigrants into Israeli society and into the employment circuit.”
2B Friendly (formerly known as Circles of Justice ) is an Israeli NGO dedicated to promoting a more just and environmentally friendly economy through the power of the private sector. 2B Friendly is a part of 2BGroup, which was founded by Yoel Cheshin, an investor and social activist. The 2BGroup aims to lead a change in the manner in which companies and businesses operate.