ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran, in conjunction with Sapir College and HaShomer HaChadesh, now offers participants in the village’s unique Gardeners Without Borders program for people with disabilities a new opportunity to move forward with a contemporary professional course in the field of ecological agricultural farming.
Taught by counselors and National Service volunteers, “Introduction to Eco Agriculture,” will provide farmers and gardeners with hands-on experience in planning sustainable agriculture in a small- to medium-level ecological-organic agricultural farm. Participants will acquire knowledge and know-how in growing and supplying a variety of quality products as well as proficiency in direct producer-to-consumer marketing skills. Completion of the course will earn participants an official Certificate of Completion.
With the increased knowledge and experience gained from the course, participants will enjoy new opportunities for integration into the general work force, leading to the ultimate goal of living a productive and independent lifestyle.
The unique rehabilitative farm operates within the grounds of ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran and covers some 70 dunams of land. It is the first farm in Israel to employee people with disabilities, including residents and patients of the rehabilitation village alongside external school students. “Gardeners Without Borders”, established at ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran employs approximately 30 gardeners with various types of disabilities in agricultural and gardening jobs within and outside of the village.
The new cooperative, integrative effort led by the Center for Pre-Academic Studies at Sapir College in conjunction with ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran and HaShomer HaChadash will enable approximately 20 gardeners from the Gardeners Without Borders program to take part in the training course. The majority of the course will take place on village grounds, with specific classes held at Sapir College.
“Village gardening and agricultural employees are highly motivated. They perform all of the work, including planting, tending to crops and harvesting. We believe that every person has the right to honorable employment, appreciation and training in his field,” comments Chami Lifshitz, program initiator and Director of Gardening and Agriculture at ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran. “Introduction to Eco-Agriculture was created in order to provide employees with professional knowledge that will assist them in their field.”
Camilla Milner-Landskind, Director of the Pre-Academic Program at Sapir College, added, “Sapir College is an innovative and creative academy which opens its doors to a diverse population with the aim of providing education, training and a rich and unique intellectual academic experience. The college imparts utmost importance to establishing and maintaining a connection with the community of which it is part, and constitutes a significant academic, economic, cultural and technological anchor in the Negev.”