"Aluma" is a program that allows the blind and visually impaired to volunteer for National-Civil Service in various places (such as, educational institutions, the public defender’s office, local authorities, the president’s house, and elsewhere).
- The program is open to people from all segments of society and offers two tracks:
- The first track integrates participants into national civil service in Jerusalem, and offers them the option to live in student dormitories at the Hebrew University or in transitional apartments provided by ALEH.
- The second track integrates participants into national civil service in their place of residence.
- The program provides participants with vocational skills which will enable them to integrate into the job market. One of the goals of the program is to help the participants achieve independence in their daily lives and develop good work habits.
- Another goal of the program is to promote positive awareness amongst the employers regarding the integration of the blind and visually impaired into the workplace. The program volunteers help get rid of the stigma associated with blindness, which is often seen as a disability that disqualifies people from joining the workforce.
- Volunteering through "Aluma" is for 30 hours a week
- For the volunteers in Jerusalem, the rest of the time is set aside for additional programming from ALEH (such as a academic preparatory program or a psychometric preparation course).
- The "Aluma" program operates on behalf of the Department for Blind Services - Ministry of Social Services and ALEH with the help of the Jerusalem Fund. Shlomit is the organization that runs the program.
Target Population and Eligibility
- Blind and visually impaired individuals with a Certificate of Blindness/Visual Impairment (up to age 22), who have completed high school and who are meant to complete at least one year of national civil service.
How to Claim It?
- Interested applicants must undergo an interview with ALEH and register as a volunteer with Shlomit.
- The applicants are referred to a placement coordinator from the Blind Services Department (Rehabilitation Branch, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services) in order to design a personalized program including supervision, relevant workplace technology modifications, and educational guidance.
- After designing a personalized program, different placement options for the volunteer’s year of service will be weighed in the fields of education, social services, or health care.
- The program coordinator maintains on-going contact with the relevant social service offices active in the volunteer's place of residence.
- This information was based on an informational leaflet provided by the ALEH Association for the Advancement of Blind Students in Israel.
- Original translation performed by The Shira Pransky Project as part of a grant from The Fellowship Fund.