The educational program and the target population
Ziv Neurim also offers solutions for other special needs groups:
1. People with special needs and disabilities
As part of our vision, Ziv Neurim enables people with special needs or cognitive disabilities to integrate into Israeli society; to discover and develop their abilities and skills; to promote their personal and social development; and to integrate them, seamlessly and completely, with the non-disabled. Marine activities serve as a tool to implement this goal and contribute significantly to those with cognitive disabilities. The project developed by Ziv Neurim is the ‘Path of the Sea’ for special-needs groups.
The model is based on improving participants’ self-image and their ability to cope with stressful situations, giving them an exciting and pleasurable experience, and teaching perseverance and methods of coping with difficulties.
2. Post trauma
The vision – to develop and strengthen the inner strengths of those suffering from post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD) to enable them to cope as individuals and as a group with challenging situations in a changing environment; to strengthen participants’ ability to adapt their personal functioning to changing circumstances, while extending their coping in meetings to dealing successfully with other areas of day-to-day life.
3. Victims of sexual assault
- To strengthen participants’ intra-family connection by means of events and experiences throughout the program with other family members.
- Ziv Neurim will employ participants who would like to join the organization and are found to be suitable.
The Educational model
Ziv Neurim’s educational model is based on marine activity. Underlying the activity are five core elements described in the research into school dropouts as supporting the individual in dealing with challenges that could result in dropping out.
The core elements are––perseverance, personal coping, personal responsibility, physical fitness, and experiencing success.
Each element is implemented via a series of values expressed in the marine activity, using the range of sea craft, such as kayaks, SUPs, surfing and windsurfing, sailing and diving.
The educational program, based on the core elements, consists of five stages through which the participants progress during the period of activities. At the end of each stage there is a ceremony signifying that the group has qualified for the next stage, and the members are given a special wrist band indicating completion of that stage.
During each activity and throughout the program there are many opportunities to help each participant to realize that his/her success, his/her coping in the sea can be extrapolated to other areas of life. We help them to identify the tools that they used at sea or that they received from us during the activity, and to instill in them the belief that they can use these tools in other spheres, with an emphasis on the school and social environment. The educational program focuses on strengthening participants’ ability to cope with everyday tasks, particularly with regard to their studies, raising their awareness and changing their approach to coping as individuals, while encouraging them to take personal responsibility for their actions.
At the end of the program each participant receives a certificate, and in some schools, the school certificate incorporates the Ziv Neurim certificate.
The Measurement and Evaluation process:
Where, how, and with whom?
Ziv Neurim’s program is implemented in five marine centers – Acco, Ashdod, Hadera, Herzlia and Netanya. Our participants are youngsters from all over the country, and from all sectors of the population.
The program is operated with the full cooperation of the education institutions (schools, youth villages, boarding schools, youth clubs, youth centers, community youth programs and community centers, etc.), and is recognized, approved and supervised by the appropriate division of the Department of Education. This cooperation of the participants’ educational institutions is essential and a must for Ziv Neurim, which believes that participants will only advance if there is cooperation between the program and the education institutions, and if they complement each other.
There is a weekly meeting with the participants for the activity in the sea, and a meeting as part of the educational program itself. The meetings are led by Ziv Neurim instructors with educational backgrounds and marine experience.
- In the course of the year the educational institutions receive two progress reports, one mid-year, and the other an end-of-year summary report. The reports describe the development of each participant and of the group, and advances made, and their targets and achievements.
- Ziv Neurim’s model offers participants support in their studies by means of help provided by pre-army Service Year volunteers serving in the organization.
- To empower the participants in the educational program and to instill a feeling of pride and of being special in them, Ziv Neurim operates a noticeboard/television with photographs of events and the marine activities.
Ziv Neurim’s holistic model enables the education team to meet the youngsters in other areas of their life, strengthening the bond with them and their feeling of belonging, and thus reinforcing the positive influence on them.
The Measurement and Evaluation program
As an educational NPO, Ziv Neurim set itself a strategic goal to examine and measure the effectiveness of its activity and its impact on those it aims to benefit. To do so, every year in the course of the program, Ziv Neurim carries out a Measurement and Evaluation process.
Note: Not all aspects of the activity can be quantified.
How the Measurement is performed:
- Questionnaires are distributed to participants at the beginning and in the middle of the year.
- Questionnaires are distributed to the instructors, participants and teachers at the end of the year’s activities.
- Face to face interviews with every participant at the beginning of the year, and personal conversations during the year.
The issues assessed in the Measurement program (reported by the participants themselves, and by the teachers and instructors):
- Self-control: how much improvement has there been in the participant’s ability to hold back before reacting.
- Perseverance and not giving up: to what extent does the participant feel and act in a way that indicates perseverance (attending activities, going into lessons, persisting when coming against difficulties, etc.).
- Personal coping: how much progress has been made in the participant’s effort to cope with tasks and challenges in different areas of life.
- Responsibility for own behavior: how much progress has been made in the participant’s ability to take responsibility for his/her conduct.
- Asking for and accepting help: how far has the participant progressed in his/her ability to realize that he/she needs help and to have the courage to ask for it and to accept it.
- Participants belief in their ability to succeed: how much have they changed in this regard, in being honest with themselves regarding their level of self-confidence, and regarding the importance of their educational environment.
- Environmental and social awareness: how aware has the participant become of questions of sustainability. How much does he/she care about society and the environment.
- Helping and considering others: how much has the participant’s attitude to others, and his/her willingness to help and consider others, changed.
- Motivation to study: how much has the participant’s attitude towards the importance of studies, and to what is required with regard to those studies, changed.
- Finishing high school: how much has the participant’s desire to finish high school changed.
The data collected are analyzed by a consultant in the field of data processing and statistics
Our measurement program shows that our marine activities have a positive effect on the lives of the participants. Every year we see the ability of the educational marine activities to prevent youth from dropping out of school and to impact positively on their self-awareness, on their attitude to their studies, social skills, and academic achievements.