The project was initiated in 2014 by a small group of Haifa residents who recognized that many Eritrean and Sudanese refugees in Haifa lacked basic educational, social and legal support. These volunteers began by teaching weekly language classes, in English and Hebrew, mainly to single Eritrean males, and liaising with lawyers and social workers on behalf of refugees.
In the years since its establishment, ALEF’s focus has shifted and grown to meet the ever changing educational, social, and material needs of African refugees. Today, ALEF sits under the African Refugee Development Center (ARDC) umbrella organization, based in Tel Aviv, and works closely with local partner organizations and stakeholders, as well as the UNCHR, to provide services and programs for dozens of African asylum-seeking families in Haifa. ALEF stands alone as the only non-profit initiative in the north of Israel focused on providing support for over 500 African refugees.
African asylum-seekers in Israel live in an economically and legally precarious position and are among the most socially marginalized groups in Israeli society. Asylum-seekers are often overlooked by government and social institutions and lack access to higher education, with most African asylum-seekers in Israel living in poverty. As a result of traumatic experiences prior to, and during the migration process, many experience PTSD and other psychological issues. Combined with the exclusion from public social services and the national healthcare system, asylum-seekers have been left in a perpetual state of crisis for almost a decade. Through a variety of primary support and programming, ALEF aims to ensure that despite these obstacles, African refugees can succeed in Israeli society.
Liaison services, rights advocacy, and mediation with the Haifa municipality, lawyers and the legal system, and non-profits and educational institutions.
Vocational training and language lessons, to increase employment and social opportunities in Israel.
Basic financial needs assistance for the most high-risk members of the community, especially during unexpected periods of high unemployment such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Children’s learning activities, including the Change A World Initiative, which provides virtual one-on-one tutoring to 27 refugee children and in-person tutoring to meet various learning needs.
Summer arts, culture, and sports activities for children aged 4-10.
Art therapy for children, provided in conjunction with Tel Hai College and the Yodfat Community Center in Hadar.
Please consider supporting ALEF, to ensure that our organization can continue to provide needed support and services for African refugees living in the periphery of Israeli society. To find out more about ALEF, or if you have questions about our work, feel free to reach out to us by email.