Farming and the pride associated with growing – literally and metaphorically – is a powerful way to connect people to something inherently meaningful. Kaima’s vision is to harness the principles of farming and cultivate curiosity to improve the lives of high school youth unable to adapt to conventional indoor, learning frameworks, and reconnect them to a sense of purpose and possibility.
Each year, 140-150 youth and young adults (ages 15-21) participate in Kaima’s intensive fulltime agricultural employment program across our national farming network. To date, 550 have “graduated” and moved on to return to conventional classroom settings, perform army/national service, and/or enter the job market. Approximately 50% of our current participants and 40% of our alumni wish to pursue additional studies, but lack the financial means and requisite guidance to do so.
The Matanel Foundation has been instrumental in advancing the Kaima movement as a vibrant and successful alternative educational resource. Previously, Foundation trustees provided long-term support of our unique employment initiative. The new Matanel-Kaima Educational Investment Fund is a network-wide pilot initiative intended to improve long-term opportunities for Israeli youth and our alumni to succeed in life by providing access to serious vocational/professional training courses or academic programs as well as educational counseling. Select objectives are to:
- Expand the individual’s skill-set and sense of personal agency
- Reinforce Kaima’s assertion that curiosity is one of the most powerful tools to encourage true learning and personal application
- Advance the foundation’s prior investment in the Kaima network and take the first meaningful step toward responding to the needs of Kaima alumni