1. What are the conditions for being accepted to the volunteering teams?
As an organization our main goal is to present the soldiers of the IDF in a different way than the way they are usually presented, we would obviously aspire that most of our volunteers would be people who served in the IDF. That being said, in every delegation they are at least 4 spots reserved for people who volunteered with the National Service program or had a military profile that was not sufficient for them to serve in the IDF. It is important to note that the organization is meant for the soldiers in the IDF, whether they served in fighting units or supporting units or positions.
2. How do we choose our volunteers and are there any meetings before the actual volunteering?
Firstly, the applicants send their resume via our website www.hfl.org.il- then they come in for a personal interview, those who pass the interview are invited to take part in our “Charity begins at home” program that takes place usually two months prior to the volunteering itself. The project is a two and a half day project (usually from Wednesday evening until Friday afternoon) with all of the intended delegation, and the participation is mandatory. In this project we volunteer with endangered youth from the “kanot” youth village, especially with Ethiopian youth. Beyond the actual giving in these two days, this time is also meant to prepare and form a group out of the volunteers. After these two days everyone is free to go on his big trip and arrive at a meeting point (usually a central place in the city where we volunteer) at a date and time that was given to the volunteers in Israel.
3. Can you fly to the destination earlier then the delegation and meet up with them?
Yes you can, but, that being said, as was specified in the previous question all volunteers must participate in the “Charity begins at home” project, that takes place approximately two months prior to the volunteering itself.
4. How long is the volunteering itself?
The volunteering itself is two weeks long. In most cases we will volunteer during the week at an orphanage and at the weekend we will volunteer with the Jewish community of the city we are volunteering at. This time period (two weeks) was chosen, as the organization has made it one of its goals to attract any Israeli traveler, and as such, we must find a volunteering period which on the one hand can appeal to the majority of Israeli backpackers and on the other hand allow a significant contribution.
5. Who handles the cost of the volunteering?
All of the lodging, food and transportation costs during the volunteering period are paid by the organization. The cost of arriving at the meeting point for the begging of the volunteering, and the personal insurance are on the volunteer himself, it is important to say- the living conditions- food and lodging, are very basic.
6. How does the volunteering itself take place?
Our most important rule is to not reinvent the wheel, both in our Israel project and our projects abroad, we have fruitful cooperations with local aid organizations and relevant people in the foreign ministry that help us to accomplish our goals and have a successful delegation. For example in India we work together with the “Gabriel project Mumbai” organization and with the help of the Israeli consulate in Mumbai.
7. What do you actually do during the volunteering?
Usually the volunteering will be in an orphanage, and will include many different subjects, the main ones being- teaching English, calculus, personal hygiene, values, music and arts, renovating, painting and more. It is important to mention that the difference in the mission of each delegation is according to need, and not our choice, therefore they may be differences between the delegations to India and those to South America for instance. The different missions of each delegation are decided during the visit of the “preliminary team” to the country- that takes place roughly three months prior to the beginning of the volunteering, and coordinates the final place, itinerary and mission of the delegation.
8. How many delegations are there every year?
During our first year we opened a delegation to India, In the year 2016 we are expanding our activity to Africa and are operating a Tri-continent volunteering operation during this year- April: Ethiopia, September: India, December: Argentina.
In our vision, by 2018, the “fighters for life” organization, will have every year blue and white (Israeli) delegations across four different continents.