A famous Chinese proverb says: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Meir Panim’s “Al Telchi Levadech –Don’t Go Alone” program, their latest initiative to help women enter the workforce, brings this ancient teaching to life. Provided at no cost to participants, the program consists of a four-month training program followed by six months of professional job searching guidance and an onboarding process at the participants’ new place of employment.
The program boasts an impressive 80% job placement rate.
One of the program’s success stories is Maya. Following an ugly divorce from an abusive husband, Maya, a 35-year-old Israeli woman from Jerusalem, suddenly found herself with no support system to help her raise her three kids on her own. She struggled to find a job because her husband wouldn’t allow her to work when she was married. The decade-long gap in her resume all but ensured indefinite unemployment. Maya felt herself spiraling into a deep depression, not knowing where her children’s next meal would come from.
But that all changed once she enrolled in Meir Panim’s game-changing program.
“I was at the lowest level possible,” Maya said. “I couldn’t be a good role model for my kids. I would look for jobs, but people would ask why I didn’t work for eight years. The reason was that my husband was violent and controlling, but I couldn’t tell them that.”
“He threw me out with barely any clothes. I had to rebuild myself anew,” she added.
But everything turned around thanks to Meir Panim. “I attended a career workshop with Meir Panim to help me get back into the workplace via education and hands-on training.”
Deeply thankful for her personal breakthrough, Maya said of the charitable organization: “They do holy work.”
In fact, Maya is so grateful for the opportunity Meir Panim has given her that she plans to travel abroad to raise money for the organization.
“We work with women who feel hopeless and sit at home watching TV,” said Nissim Almykisis, Meir Panim’s Dimona branch manager. “Once a week, we teach them about their rights, how to compose a resume, about courses and degrees available to them, and give them tools to thrive in the workplace.”
While praising the program, Nissim explained that the program offers them the most valuable gift of all: “We give them independence” he said.
Recalling Maya’s journey, Almykisis explains: “She had no confidence; she was even afraid to speak. Now she has taken off. It’s amazing to see.”
With the program’s continued success, Meir Panim is hopeful to begin planning on expanding to additional branches next year with municipal and donor support!
To help support this program and help change the lives of women in Israel, please donate to “Al Telchi Levadech –Don’t Go Alone.”