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07/2/2017 - Spotlight on a Negba Volunteer: Shira Har Tuv


While in her last year of high school, Shira Har Tuv, then 18, began researching potential organizations for her upcoming compulsory national service. Har Tuv, from the Yishuv Kiryat Netafim on the outskirts of the city of Ariel, first heard of Negba from a former Negba national service volunteer. “I knew that I wanted to do two years of national service with children at-risk, so that I could make a real impact, and get more out of it,” said Shira. “It turned into an incredible experience for me at Negba these last two years.”

Shira has been serving as a madricha/counselor at Negba’s "Les Cigognes"- Hasidot after-school Home in Beersheva. For two years Shira has worked consistently with almost the same children, all between the ages of 9-12, providing guidance as a mentor, empathizing with their struggles and challenges, and facilitating their progress. The children in Shira’s care easily learned to admire and respect her. And the influence she had on them is palpable.

“When I first joined Negba I didn’t know anybody,” said Moriah, 12. “Shira helped me make friends, and she also teaches me every day during the learning hour. She taught me math so well. Now I understand the material in class at school.” Friend Sari, also 12, shared similar sentiments about Shira. “When I used to get upset and angry, I would hit other kids. Shira taught me how to control my temper, and how to relax when I’m anxious or nervous.”

It took some time, though, until Shira was able to connect with them. “Slowly, the kids learned to trust me, and felt comfortable sharing their thoughts. Now, in my second year, they rush to tell me in full detail how things went at school, what they learned, what grades they got on tests, what’s happening with them socially. They particularly love the mentoring time, and always want more time one-on-one.”

The children got so much out of the experience. And so did Shira. “I gained a lot of knowledge. I learned how to approach and connect with children. I learned how to run activities effectively and be a madricha. It was an extremely rewarding experience for me.” Though she isn’t yet sure on her career direction, it will likely involve working with children or people. A good part of that is because of the enriching family she found at Negba.

“Negba was my home for two years. Negba is home. It will always be a part of me.”

For many Negba children, Shira will forever be a part of them.


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