Desert Stars – Fostering leadership in the Bedouin community

The Desert Stars project came into being after 2010. It was initiated by a group of Bedouin and Jewish businessmen and educators, all who are also local civic and social activists.

They were motivated to invest in this project in light of the increasingly growing inequalities between Jewish and Bedouin society. The wider the gap between these two societies becomes, the lower the chances of co-existence and human interaction are. Desert Stars began its work in the Negev under the auspices of Keshet.

Desert Stars seeks to help with the empowerment of Bedouin youth and the cultivation of young and pro-active leadership in the Bedouin communities. The project, which found widespread support among local Bedouins, began by establishing a cadre of Bedouin youths to tackle the issue of inequality and find ways to reduce it.

In 2013, the Desert Stars project was incorporated as an independent NGO, and it has since continued its work independently from Keshet. It has evolved into an external higher education project for Bedouin teens.

Currently, the project is supported by both Israeli and international partners, local leaders from the Negev, and various government bodies. The National Insurance Institute has recognized the project as a vocational training project. Together with Ben-Gurion University, a blueprint for an academic prep program is being developed for Desert Stars graduates.

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