A shining young Ethiopian woman sips her coffee – black. She’s calm, collected and clearly very smart. She breathes deeply as she looks around the 200-square-foot room, a gentle smile crossing her lips as she glances at her supervisor.
“It’s hard to be an immigrant for anyone. It’s especially hard to be an Ethiopian immigrant,” says Osheila. “Being here at Beit Canada is great for me. I can learn. I am calm.”
Osheila lives in Ashkelon, where she is working towards a Master’s degree. She moved to Israel as a young girl, in the early 1980s.
Uri, an Israeli immigrant from the Former Soviet Union, came to Israel less than a decade ago. When he arrived in Ashkelon six years ago, he was already a smart and dynamic young man, but he had little direction. Then, he joined the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Net@, a program that pulls students from communities with lower socioeconomic levels in Israel’s north and south and trains them in computers – the hardware and programming. To get into the program, you have to achieve a minimum level of English proficiency and pass a rigorous interview process, demonstrating you have the intelligence and the character to learn and make a difference.