The Israeli connect

Sporting spirit

The Israeli connect
The Consulate General of Israel in Bengaluru hosted the first ‘Shalom Club’ meet and held the closing ceremony of the ‘Special Kids Football Mashav course’ at the YMCA grounds in the city recently.

The five-day ‘Special Kids Football Mashav course’ called ‘Game of Life’, designed to impart psycho-educational messages through football practices, concluded on a high note. Parents of children with special needs who were a part of the programme were excited to share their unique experience.

Another event that was also held simultaneously was the ‘Shalom Club’ meet. Explaining the concept of ‘Shalom Club’, Ziv Shalvi, Deputy Chief of Mission, Consulate General of the State of Israel, said that Mashav, which is Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, is organising Israel’s official international development cooperation programme. He said that it has trained several course participants from approximately 132 countries and has developed dozens of demonstration projects worldwide. “Mashav maintains contact with former course participants through its network of over 70 ‘Shalom Clubs’ worldwide. These clubs serve as a forum for Mashav alumni to participate in professional and social activities.

Today is the inauguration of the first ‘Shalom Club’ in India where the alumni of the Mashav courses will get to interact with each other for the first time,” said Ziv.

Ziv added that the aim of the alumni of the ‘Shalom Club’ is to contribute their knowledge, experience and expertise to help strengthen areas in India that need assistance such as agriculture, women and child empowerment and education.

 The alumni of Mashav, who had gathered for the ‘Shalom Club’ meet, came in from different places such as Mangaluru, Cochin and Dharwad. Each of the members have undergone training in Mashav courses and were more than happy to share their experiences. Dr Mary Venu Joseph, Dean Research, Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Cochin, said, “I visited a couple of educational institutions in Israel that help children adapt to any kind of environment. There was one school that had certain animals on campus. This, they believed, would help develop a better rapport between man and animals.”

“Another school encouraged children to walk through scrapyards, hoping that this would give the children an understanding of how it is to work in a rough environment. I hope to use the same techniques in India,” added Mary. Dr Ashok P, from University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, said, “During my visit to Israel, I saw how they used drip irrigation to improve crop productivity and enrich the soil. I wish to implement the same technology in Dharwad. It is helpful in increasing the yield.”

Sharing her experience, Harini Shetty, a staff member of the Urban Research Centre, Mangaluru, said, “I was impressed with the way a few centres used psychosocial therapy to rehabilitate victims. Even those in the prisons in Israel were treated using psychosocial therapies. The results were stunning.” Harini hopes to implement something similar here.

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