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Interview with Omer - Evacuated Youth Movement Leader

Profile: Omer Amiga, 18

Omer is part of a HaNoar HaOved gap year cohort that started their year in September on Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in the Upper Galilee. They were soon evacuated to Kibbutz Kadarim when the war began. Omer is originally from Bat Yam, and loves soccer, theater and making an impact on others. Now, during his gap year with HaNoar HaOved, he is focusing on informal education.

What was your experience on October 7? And since then? 

I didn’t really have time to cope since I was immediately evacuated to the center of the country with the rest of my cohort on the “Black Shabbat.” A week later, we went to volunteer for a week and a half at the hotels in Eilat. A week after that, we were moved to the hotels in Tiberias, where we ran educational activities for evacuated kids for two months. Now I am responsible for educational activities for the evacuated kibbutzim that we were originally working with back in September. 


Omer and Shirli welcoming kids evacuated from Kibbutz Kfar Giladi

Tell us about your day-to-day life now. 

Me and Shirli, my co-counselor, travel three times a week to the Ohalo Manor Hotel just south of Tiberias, which is where the majority of Kfar Giladi was evacuated at the start of the war. The rest of the community is scattered between other kibbutzim in the area, with some going to stay in the center of Israel or even abroad. As an educator who is deeply connected to their lives, who talks to them and eats with them and spends most of the day with them, I see firsthand the difficulty of living in a small room with your whole family for almost six months, of eating the same food over and over again in the dining hall. It is enough to drive someone insane. 


Omer organizing activities for displaced youth

Tell us about a volunteering project that you led or took part in. 

During the second week of the war, me and three other members of my cohort came to Hotel Aria in Eilat to create a routine there for the youth. We ran regular activities for both children and teens. During the fourth week of the war, we were with evacuated children and teens in Tiberias. We made sure to run educational programming as well as being a listening ear for anyone who needed to talk. 

What do you wish for the kibbutz going forward? 

I wish that Kfar Giladi will continue to strengthen and grow closer as a community despite the war and separation of their physical location. 

What insights have you gathered over the last few months?

I have learned that as an educator, even the smallest thing I do or say has the potential to change the entire world of a child.

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