Empowering Jaffa’s community – working with MichaelAngelo neighborhood
The community campaign took place in an Arab-Jewish neighborhood in the center of the mixed city of Jaffa. By opposition to its neighboring city Tel Aviv, the city of Jaffa is neglected by the authorities in a variety of areas; education, housing, infrastructures, cultural institutions, etc. It seems as though Jaffa residents’ poor socio-economic status, Arabs and Jews alike, is the result of their resignation in front of their representative institutions. The neighborhood in which we worked is mixed and composed of five buildings sharing a joint yard. This common space was neglected, the walls crumbling and covered with graffiti, the areas designated for gardens and the shelters filthy. The entry fence was broken, posing a threat to the children of the neighborhood whom had nowhere to play.
The summer campaign was part of a work process with the community, attempting to create change in the resident’s approach towards the common space in their neighborhood in specific and in Jaffa as a whole. Work began previous to the summer itself, in joint meetings between the staff and volunteers of Sadaka and the members of the community with purpose to identify the needs to be met, to define the nature of the work and to establish a coordinating team composed of residents and members of Sadaka.
The summer campaign took place in July, from the 18th to the 22nd, and involved the local residents, Sadaka Reut volunteers and staff and over 50 Arab and Jewish youth. After the initial cleaning and preparations, the work in the neighborhood was divided into four main areas; painting walls and murals in the common space inside the neighborhood, establishing a community garden in the fronts of the buildings, building a children’s playground in the backyard between the buildings and holding a children’s summer camp for the neighborhood’s children.