The Equalizer Programme is building a better society in a diverse part of Israel through education and football
KICK- STARTING SOCIAL COHESION
Bringing Jewish and Arab children together, and enhancing their education, through the power of football.
Eli is Jewish and lives in Akko, the port city in the Galil, in the north of Israel. Bijou (Mohammed) is Arab, and lives 5 miles to the east, in the village of Jadeidi-Makr.
Just a few miles, but a world apart, their communities rarely have much to do with each other. But now, Eli and Bijou play football together.
They are part of a programme called Equalizer, which works across Israel with children from deprived neighbourhoods from all of Israel’s communities. Watch the film to see how Eli and Bijou are getting on.
Equalizer combines football training with extra academic support to give these disadvantaged children a much better chance in life. They also learn the values of tolerance and mutual respect, both on and off the pitch. This is crucial in a region which is 55% Arab and 45% Jewish.
UJIA is a key supporter of the programme, together with partners including the Israel Ministry of Education and the British Embassy in Israel. We’ve helped to open 40 leagues in the Galil region for 998 children so far.
We know that education is the key to individual opportunity, economic success and social cohesion in the region and Israel as a whole. That’s why we’re working across the Galil on projects which have transformed tens of thousands of lives.
“Through playing the game they love, these children get to know ‘the other’ and see what they have in common.”
Meet the boys
YOUNG PEOPLE REACHED BY UJIA IN THE GALIL DIRECTLY EVERY YEAR.
WE SEND MORE THAN 50% OF OUR 16 YEAR-OLDS TO ISRAEL WITH THE UK YOUTH MOVEMENTS EVERY YEAR
Number of young people in the Galil reached by the UJIA-supported Kibbutz Eshbal
OF CHILDREN IN NORTHERN ISRAEL LIVE BELOW THE POVERTY LINE.
Decline in size of UK Jewish population since its post-war peak
Merom Hagalil’s income is almost 40% below the national average