Collot Ba'Negev ("Voices in the Negev") was established in 1995 as a pluralistic center for learning, encounter and education in the Negev. The aim was to answer the need for a deep and meaningful dialogue among groups in the South of Israel: between the personal and the communal spheres, between social and political activity and between groups in conflict.
Collot Ba'Negev Association developed and grew through the years and became a leading organization in the field of group facilitation, focusing on multiculturalism and groups in conflict. In 2006 Collot Ba'Negev opened the Training School for Group Facilitators, in cooperation with Sapir Academic College.
The periphery of the South of Israel encounters numerous obstacles and setbacks: Lack of sufficient working opportunities, backward towns with large percentage of new immigrants, tendency of young people to leave for the Center, complex inner politics and, on top of all that, security threats from Gaza Strip. All these factors create an environment full of conflicts and heavy challenges, both for the local residents and for those who wish to create and lead change for the better.
In Collot Ba'Negev we believe that a change in the private circle of people can lead to significant change in the communal circle. In training group facilitators, through the unique approach which it developed, Collot Ba'Negev spreads the seeds of change all over the Negev and encourages fresh and hopeful dialogue.
The Training School for Group Facilitators is the flag project of Collot Ba'Negev. In all training groups the method of learning – “Journeys of the Identity” – includes two phases. In the first phase the participants are invited to set on a journey of self-revelation, where they encounter their various identities and the conflicts that might arise between them. They also receive tools and professional escort to deal with these conflicts, learn from them and grow through them. In the second phase the participants acquire theoretical knowledge concerning their experiences in the study group. They are also required to practice and apply what they have learned in their communities and working places.
The participants arriving to the Training School are men and women from all over the country, leaders of programs, associations and social organizations. During their training they acquire practical tools that can help them to initiate and promote processes of social change.
The duration of each course is two years and it includes 60 weekly meetings, each meeting one-day long (8 hours). 480 academic hours, for two years, including practicum program – during the program, the participants in the training groups are integrated and can find a horizon within the other groups that we manage. All courses take place in the Negev Region.
The graduates of these courses receive an official certificate of authorized group-facilitator, signed by Sapir Academic College and Collot Ba'Negev.