The promotion of employment among Israel’s Arab-Bedouin and general Arab society through preparatory programs for studies and employment is at the heart of AJEEC’s work since its establishment. AJEEC’s various programs in this area focus on skills building, personal and academic preparation, and optimal paths for integration into the world of employment in a manner that is compatible with the needs and culture of young people and women from the Arab society. In this way, AJEEC helps advance personal development while maintaining respect for cultural attitudes towards family, identity, and tradition.
In 2004, AJEEC established its first early childhood educational program models, understanding that to promote women’s employment requires the provision of daycare for their children. AJEEC’s daycares provided employment and dedicated training to local Bedouin women, while allowing mothers to go and pursue gainful employment. At a later stage, AJEEC then opened social businesses, to further support employment of women. These major ventures include: Al Sanabel catering, which was established in collaboration with the Hura municipality and provides employment to single mothers; and, “Women Weaving a Dream”, which promote women’s employment through home businesses.
AJEEC’s gap year programs also focus on preparing their participants for the world of academic studies and employment, understanding that the “starting point” of Arab young men and women who have completed high school is significantly lower than that of young people in the general population, requiring guidance and assistance to bridge the gap. Data from over the last decade shows that more than 85% of AJEEC gap year alumni later find successful placement in the Israeli labor market and attribute their success to their time in the gap years.