The Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development (NISPED) was established by Dr. Yehuda Paz, z”l, as a center for international training under the auspices of Sapir College.
NISPED was registered as an independent NGO located in Beersheva. The organization served as a center for trainings on the development of cooperatives and small businesses, and conflict resolution. Each year, hundreds of people from developing countries and from the Middle East attended the center’s courses. NISPED was directed by Ms. Vivian Silver.
AJEEC - the Arab Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation was founded by Ms. Amal Elsana Alh’jooj as a branch of NISPED. AJEEC (also the Arabic word for “I come toward you”) focused on socio-economic development within the Arab Bedouin population of the Negev and the establishment of partnerships between the region’s Arab and Jewish communities.
The Volunteer Tent was established in Beersheva’s “old city” as a center to train and engage volunteers and to implement informal education programming throughout the Negev.
The Early Childhood Department was established. Its centerpiece was the “Parents as Partners in the Community” program, which encouraged employment for Arab Bedouin women and the established a series of early childhood centers for children from birth to age three.
The Economic Development Department was founded after a needs assessment and mapping process. The department develops and implements cutting edge economic development programs for women and men in the Arab Bedouin community.
The Early Childhood Resource and Training Center was established to complement and enrich the early childhood programming.
Based on a needs assessment, AJEEC-NISPED launched the Health Promotion Department. The department focuses on the health of pregnant women and young children in the Arab Bedouin community.
AJEEC-NISPED is recognized as an official training center by the International Cooperative Association (ICA)
The Israeli Ministry of Education recognizes AJEEC-NISPED’s Volunteer Tent as an official youth organization.
The Volunteer Tent receives the President’s Award for Excellence in a Volunteer Organization specifically in recognition of its work towards a shared and inclusive society in Israel