Over the years, more than 200 small businesses were established. JobKatif counselors continue to be available to help Gush Katif entrepreneurs with counseling, advice and in some cases, loans or subsidies.
Achotenu: Nurses Training Program for Ethiopians
In order to best assist Ethiopian women to gain education and then stable employment, we used the best practice of conducting a needs assessment: we interviewed Ethiopian women throughout Israel to better understand their needs, interests and career aspirations. Over 90% of respondents expressed interest in studying nursing. Our research also indicated that Ethiopian women felt limited by restricted gender roles and a lack of role models and mentors. However, the women also noted their financial limitations and their perception that they could not meet admission requirements.
JobKatif launched Achotenu — a nurses training program for Ethiopians — in 2013. Twelve young Ethiopian women joined the pilot program. Achotenu is the first program to enable Ethiopian women to be accepted by Israel’s nursing schools WITHOUT fulfilling the psychometric exam requirement. Achotenu is the only program working to change the system of academic admissions for this sector.
As we near completion of the program, ten of the women will be graduating in 2016 and have already been guaranteed positions as nurses (Registered Nurses) in Israel’s hospitals. Two of the women will be graduating summa cum laude.
JobKatif provided financial, tutoring, mentoring and emotional assistance throughout the program, enabling the women to succeed.
Academic Nursing Program
The success of our pilot program demonstrates that Ethiopian youth can succeed in nursing studies within our supportive framework. Achotenu’s next step is to expand our impact, both by admitting a greater number of students and by raising the caliber of our program, from offering Registered Nurse (RN) certification, to offering both RN certification and a Bachelor’s in Nursing.
In partnership with Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital, and with the support of Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA), we are opening a ground-breaking pre-nursing bridge program for the coming academic year (2016-2017). This will be the first university bridge program in Israel without a psychometric requirement for nursing for the Ethiopian sector. Our rigorous bridge program will accept 20 students on the basis of their
high school transcript and an interview. Participants will receive introductory science and English courses to help prepare them for nursing school, and will live in Hebrew University dormitories. Graduates of this program will gain acceptance into the Henrietta Szold Hebrew University Nursing School on the basis of their academic performance in this program alone. Achotenu will continue to support the students throughout the entirety of their degree, providing mentoring, tutoring, living stipends, and a full tuition scholarship.