The Triguboff Centre deals with Coronavirus challenge in The Negev

April 20, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Established by The Triguboff Institute, Switch Centre has made necessary adjustments to their scope of work in order to assist the Bedouin minority which is disproportionally affected by the Corona crisis.

Australia’s ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan and Harry Triguboff with two locals

The centre is dedicated to vocational training  and employment in the Bedouin community in the Negev,

As the Corona Crisis in Israel peaked early March, new emergency guidelines were issued by the Ministry of Health with heavy restrictions on the economy and education system across the country. The crisis has affected and still affects all Israeli society, yet even more profoundly the Bedouin society which is one-third of the Negev population. Due to the new restrictions, a high percentage of Bedouin employees were laid off or placed on unpaid leave, many small businesses are on the verge of collapse. Remote education has also raised difficulties, stressing cultural barriers and difficulties for many of the Bedouin society, which partly lives in “unrecognized villages”, lacking Internet infrastructure, continuous electricity and water supply and computers.

The Triguboff institute and the Switch Centre leadership have recognized the challenges to those who have had their educational and occupational frameworks abruptly put on freeze or discontinued. Switch Centrejoined the Negev NGO’s ״Bedouin Corona Crisis Management Headquarters”, activity set up by Ajik Institute and affiliated organizations to assess and meet the needs of the Bedouin society at this time. Switch Center administrative coordinator Samir Abu Aabed, was integrated on behalf of Switch Centre to the daily operations team as the liaison to the Home Front Command and Local State and Municipal authorities, in order to assess ways of providing assistance and various responses in accordance with the needs that will arise.

As part of the immediate relief efforts for the local business sector, the Centre provided significant space for the temporary operation of Idan Ha’Negev Company and Soda Stream, in order to allow continued production in light of the new guidelines and restrictions.  Training workshop activities at Soda Stream and the Technology Entrepreneurship Accelerator in the Idan Ha’negev Centre made a shift to online platforms in accordance with their schedule.

Moreover, the Centre took part in procurement and distribution of essentials, including hundreds disinfectant kits, as well as over 6,000 activity kits for children and preschool special education children. The kits were distributed in the Bedouin unrecognized villages and settlements adjacent to the biggest Bedouin City of Rahat , in the Ramat Hanegev Tziporim area (Mt. Negev) – areas with which the centre has a joint activity on routine days. “when the state and government authorities are no more than a source of confusion your immediate response to the crisis is like fresh air and oxygen supply to our community ….” Stated Mayor of a major regional Council in the Negev.


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