A petition released by Yemin Orde leadership calls for support of graduates from the Sudan and Darfur regions who may be facing deportation from Israel.
Yemin Orde Youth Village staff is doing everything possible to help in the safety and security of our African graduates in the face of complex and troubling developments in Israel. We want to share with you a letter released from Yemin Orde Youth Village regarding our graduates from the Sudan and Darfur regions who may be facing deportation.
Letter and Petition from Yemin Orde Youth Village
“More than a decade ago, Yemin Orde became the first educational organization in Israel that provided refuge for asylum-seeking youth from Africa. These youth fled Sudan and the Darfur area because of ethnic cleansing. They were survivors of terrible violence and torture, some witnessed the death of their parents and siblings, and had no home. They crossed borders and arrived in Israel alone and without possessions. After spending time in detention facilities, they were released and, without means of support, wandered the streets in Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva. This is when Yemin Orde Youth Village stepped in and provided them with a home, a safe haven and an education.
“For these minors, Yemin Orde was a refuge from the experience of persecution and existential threat. At Yemin Orde, they received support and a stable framework in which they began a process of rehabilitation. They successfully integrated into our community, took an active part in all activities and learned Hebrew. Some completed full matriculation and continued on to academic studies at various colleges, and some continued to study professionally.
“Unfortunately, Israel has never enacted a law that defines the status of these youth and they are forced to live in constant uncertainty about their future. Recently, Israel issued a directive to begin deportations of refugees back to Africa and our graduates may be deported.
“In a strong ‘With You All The Way’ message, the Village took a few steps towards supporting our African refugee graduates. They were invited to the Village to update us about their current situation and were each given a letter from Shmuli Bing, Yemin Orde Director, and Boaz Edan, Yemin Orde Board Chair, that they were asked to show authorities in case they are contacted. Also, activities took place with our children, following which an online petition was arranged against the deportation.
“Yemin Orde is the first (and as far as we know the only) youth village to openly support these youth and to make a stand with the government about their status. We are leading this call and setting the direction. The petition also reflects our moral commitment, as we teach our children to be humane and to support the weak and needy, regardless of color, race and religion. We participate in this endeavor as a community, staff/management and children together.”
Yemin Orde’s petition calling for support of its African graduates
“We, children and graduates of Yemin Orde Youth Village, members of educational institutions and their graduates and citizens, are calling to consider the unique situation of those African refugees who arrived in Israel as children and youth,s alone. We call to give them a permanent status and the possibility to study and work in Israel.
There are 10 graduates of Yemin Orde who grew up here and today could be deported from Israel. These graduates are certainly not migrant workers. They arrived in Israel at a young age, destitute, and after their families were tortured and even murdered in front of their eyes.
After studying the subject, we call upon the State of Israel to act as the Jewish people expected to be treated in times of trouble, and to act according to the educational way we believe in. It is inconceivable that boys who fled here without a family and a supportive system and were educated on the values of the State of Israel, Jewish and Israeli history, heritage and culture will be deported. We identify with the distress of the graduates of the youth villages and the children who arrived alone and are not prepared to accept this terrible verdict.
We appeal to the decision makers to reconsider their case. We understand the complexity and disagreement that exists around this issue, but it is important for us to shed light on the issue of the children and youth who came here alone. There is no dispute that they are refugees and not migrant workers, and therefore we cry out for their cry, which is actually our cry to be a moral society. We call on the citizens of Israel to stand with us and join this petition.”
View the petition here.
Click here to read an article that first appeared in The Washington Post about Israel’s ‘Dreamers’, – its young African refugees.