and Community Resilience
AJEEC-NISPED advances diverse and innovative programming to improve health and wellness in the Arab Bedouin community of the Negev.
All projects are implemented using a community approach and address the unique challenges that the population faces: high infant morbidity and mortality rates, disproportionately high rates of accidents among children and increasing rates of diabetes, smoking and obesity. The lack of infrastructure in the unrecognized villages also has an impact on residents’ health, including the absence of ambulance services and difficulties in effectively responding to emergency situations.
Our aim is to close these gaps between the Jewish and Arab Bedouin populations of the Negev through the development of creative solutions based in the community. To ensure community support and legitimacy, we have established the “Imams’ Forum”, a group religious clerics to promote health issues; to promote the health of women and children, we have established networks of advisors and trainers; to provide culturally appropriate opportunities for exercise, we established a women’s only sports center; to reach the most isolated and vulnerable populations, we trained emergency response teams and operate two ambulances serving the unrecognized villages of the Negev.
We work with a diverse population, including women, religious leaders, youth, health service professionals and even “grandmothers” specially trained to reduce home accident rates. Activities take place in a range of venues, including schools, preschools, mosques, community centers, health clinics and more.
AJEEC-NISPED’s health programming has diverse strategic partners, including the Israel Ministry of Health, Soroka University Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Arab Physicians Association of the Negev, the Imams’ Forum and more.