It seems that anyone working in education has more than once asked themselves the following questions – is what I'm doing good? Am I educating towards the right path? Is change possible?
We at 'Bakehila', who hail the banner for social change, find ourselves asking these questions often. Mostly the following question has been concerning us lately – is it even up to us? Whether we want to or not, we are only a small part of the puzzle and in order for a child or teen to change, it isn’t enough for just one part to push them to do so. Any change to come starts from the home where the child is raised, proceeds in the society they live in, the friends they spend their time with, and the school where they learn. Inside all of this, what is our part, as an organization, that though encounters the child quite a bit over the years, and yet still, is our part in the play only a minor role?
Like everything in life, the answer we'll provide for you, is divided into two parts:
The first part says – is it even up to us? Yes, of course it's up to us, but it's also up to each of the other parts of the puzzle. And for this to affect the overall picture, it's necessary to understand the special role in the puzzle that was assigned to us, as an organization – being the glue. You don't always see the glue, but without it the puzzle couldn't be whole because the glue enables all the parts to connect to one another. In order to create change we need to create a shared language that all the parts of the puzzle will speak. This language needs to include the words change, opportunity, possibilities, phrases like "when there's a will, there's a way", "If I am not for myself, who is for me?", as well as love, determination, caring and respect. And once everyone starts speaking this language – then change will be possible. We at 'Bakehila' see it as our job to create this language and instill it amongst parents, schools' staff, members of the community, and eventually in the communities, the children and teenagers themselves. And yes – it is up to us, which brings us to part two:
Is it even up to us? No. it's not up to us, but it's not up to the parent, teacher, friend, brother or anyone else, either. Change begins only inside the person himself. "Who I am is not what others think I am, but the story I tell myself". Our role in this is to make the children and teens we work with believe in themselves, in their abilities and possibilities in front of them, in order for them to have the tools to make the change. We at 'Bakehila' do this by introducing the children to role models (service year volunteers, staff members, etc.), empower them with social activities and extracurricular classes and help them succeed in places they never thought they could succeed (such as at school), and thus create for them a successful learning experience that teaches them – it's possible. And it's up to me.
And whether it's up to us or not, one thing is clear to us in everything that we'll do – it's possible to change reality, and the first thing necessary to do this is believe it can be changed