Components of the Village Way
The Village Way is a comprehensive educational methodology inspired by the African proverb "It takes a village to raise a child."
Developed based on years of success at Yemin Orde Youth Village, it serves as a blueprint for educators working with youth-at-risk. The Village Way provides educators with a unified language, shared values, and a step-by-step work process. It aims to enable youth to refocus their energies from daily struggle and survival to achieving success by embracing the concepts of Tikkun Olam (healing the world, charity) and Tikkun HaLev (healing the heart). The Village Way envisions graduates as self-reliant adults, educated participants in the workforce, and with a sense of social responsibility.
A successful Village Way educational community must integrate each of the methodology's 10 core components into its work, which can be outlined as follows:
Anchors in the Past: Recognizing and strengthening positive personal narratives, empowering communal history, and honoring cultural traditions;
Anchors in the Future: Designing a plan for the future and encouraging youth to change present actions accordingly, teaching valuable life skills, providing support for graduates and letting youth know that the community will serve as their safety net;
Earth (the physical environment): Creating an aesthetically pleasing home-like atmosphere, using the physical environment to convey lessons and communal values;
Sky (the spiritual environment): Reinforcing communal values and national belonging, finding meaning in tradition and holidays, promoting moral judgment;
Tikkun Halev (repairing the heart): Providing diverse opportunities for success in academic and extracurricular activities, providing programs for emotional healing, and using setbacks and crises as an opportunity for growth and learning;
Tikkun Olam (repairing the world): Participating in community service to empower youth through helping others and serving a valued role in the wider community, promoting a sense of responsibility to service, opening up the wider world to the child;
Reliable Representations of Parental Wholeness: Placing every educator in the role of a meaningful adult in children's lives, involving parents in community, empowering parents in the eyes of their children and the children in the eyes of their parents;
Community of Meaning: Crafting a sense of belonging to and pride in a supportive community with common values and spreading values beyond the community's borders;
Dialogue: Opening up understanding, respectful dialogue between adult and youth, aimed at promoting the youth's progress, without blurring the role of the responsible adult;
Minimizing institutional characteristics: Building a living community that goes beyond the bureaucratic aspects of institutional life, on the physical and interpersonal levels.