Monday, October 6, 2014

Beyond the Stats

By Orit Honigsberg
ENP Intern, Fall 2014
Student at Bar Ilan University

Most of my days I spend working with numbers and facts as I write applications and letters, appealing to different corporations to help ENP’s worthy cause. Statistics of the Ethiopian-Israeli community clearly indicate the necessity of ENP’s work. The latest report will tell you that Ethiopian-Israeli families are larger than the average Israeli family-almost half having 3 or more children. 44.7% of Ethiopian-Israeli families with children live in poverty. 12.7% of Ethiopian-Israeli families are dual-breadwinner poor. 45% of Ethiopian-Israeli women have no education and/or certifications. 47.3% of Ethiopian-Israeli children are placed in the lowest tracks at school, resulting in their inability to study the material that will make the college-eligible. 

Additionally, while 46% of Israelis pay for supplementary tutoring for their children during high school, this is a luxury that most Ethiopian-Israeli families cannot afford. Few Ethiopian-Israeli children aspire to reach elite professions, resulting in self-fulfilling prophecies of underachievement. ENP professionals encourage students to aim high, while equipping these children with the necessary tools and experiences in order to reach their goals and have promising futures.

On one of my many visits to ENP’s website, I came across the “Stories” section, where there is documentation of how Programs have affected the lives of the participants by reflecting with personal accounts. While working behind the scenes in non-profit, I learned the importance of remembering who we are fighting for- the secret to motivation behind a staff’s hard work is by keeping the goal in clear perspective, and by being reminded of progress along the way. Yes, I learned valuable skills in research, and in writing. But I also learned that skills feel of even greater value when put towards the right cause. I hope that my time at ENP has helped both the staff and the members of the program!