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Impacting the lives of at-risk youth through acts of giving

What is S.A.H.I.

Rather than offering at-risk youth help, we ask them to help others. S.A.H.I. is a program of NOCHAH - a nonprofit organization that aims to personally and collectively empower Israel's youth by fostering a sense of caring and reciprocal giving to the other in society. S.A.H.I. was founded in 2009 based on a game-changing approach to rehabilitate at-risk youth. ‘Street kids’ join and form Youth Giving Units in their neighborhoods and become agents of positive change, assisting thousands in need. All the while, the youth positively turn their own lives around, refraining from criminal activity, continuing to graduate, enlist in IDF and become caring and involved members of society. Today, S.A.H.I. is considered one of Israel’s promising social enterprises, operating 35 Youth Giving Units, which engage hundreds of at-risk youth in weekly sessions of community volunteering, providing weekly assistance to over 2,000 families and individuals in need.

Why we need S.A.H.I.

Effective approaches to risk behaviors among youth Today, there are approximately 400,000 ‘at risk’ and vulnerable youth in Israel, who face a wide breadth of social, economic and familial challenges. S.A.H.I.’s model effectively transforms the lives of youth while strengthening their underserved communities. The model’s fundamental principles are: A strength-based approach that builds the youth’s sense of belonging and self-worth; a non-formal ‘street-based’ structure; and a two-pronged beneficial change - the youth help others while turning their own lives around, building leaders within underserved communities.

Highlights of S.A.H.I. programs

Giving-based work with youth and communities S.A.H.I. engages ‘street kids’ from Israel’s socio-geographic periphery, ages of 13 to 18, running Youth Giving Units, where they decide on the direct beneficiaries and ways to assist their own communities. Through weekly acts of `good doing` youth touch the lives of thousands, collecting food for impoverished families, building a playground in a school for children with special needs, renovating homes of Holocaust survivors, giving flowers on Israel`s Independence Day and assisting elderly people at times of extreme need. We make special efforts to engage and integrate at-risk girls ("Girl Power" S.A.H.I.), Ethiopian, Orthodox (Haredi) and youth with special needs, into local units and national programs. We have adapted our model to engage and impact youth under extreme distress and high risk, such as addicts, and youth taken out of their homes by social services. Finally, once our youth graduate S.A.H.I. they join our life-long alumni network and program, leading SAHI to mentor, accompany, involved and develop vulnerable youth from age 13 onward through different life cycles, preparing them for IDF and supporting them through their young adult life challenges.

What’s next for S.A.H.I.

The three ‘s’ approach in 2019-20 S.A.H.I.’s three-level approach towards meaningful replication in 2019-20 includes: Strengthening our base - S.A.H.I. is strengthening the organizational capacity and infrastructure for staff retention and skill-building as we are at a pivotal moment, following ten years of operation, towards serious scaling and replication. Streamlining and spreading the message- Based on increased demand for S.A.H.I.`s knowledge, we will be establishing an ‘Education and Training Center’ that will serve as a central hub for all matters related to scaling, share of knowledge, replication of our model and adaptation of certain parts for diverse audiences, in Israel and abroad. Scaling- In 2019 S.A.H.I. will scale its program and establish about 10 new Youth Units in various locations throughout Israel’s periphery – reaching hundreds of additional at-risk youth that will engage in weekly ‘good-doing’ acts assisting hundreds of families and individuals in need.