SPNI Orienteering Arrives at the Knesset
A young counselor from our Orienteering Program participated in an Education Committee meeting in the Knesset: "Thanks to SPNI Orienteering I feel a part of a close-knit group working for environmental protection and Israeli society"
The children of today almost never discover nature on their own accord, playing games in the yard have long been replaced by computer games. Children are exposed to infinite sources of information at the click of a button, and if they only desired they could look at a picture of every animal up close. When, however, was the last time they met an animal in nature? Have they had an opportunity to light a campfire, roast marshmallows and sing songs?
In SPNI's Orienterring program, the open landscapes are the sports court. Children from grades 5 to 12 learn about the wonders of nature through personal experiences, which have been made near extinct by the virtual world.
Zahava Maro, a young counselor from our Orienteering program in Yafo, doesn't need convincing. On Wednesday, May 1st, 2013, Maro participated in a discussion in the Knesset's Education Committee (Israeli Parliament) led by Amram Mitzna. The discussion focused on informal education and Maro explained how our Orienteering program serves as a source for drawing youth in to take part in quality activities in the leisure hours after school.
At the end of the discussion, Zahava brought a letter to Member of Knesset Amram Mitzna that she wrote on the meaning of our Orienteering program for her:
"As a part of my participation in SPNI's Orienteering group, I feel like I'm an active part of a tight-knit group, held together by values that raise awareness for environmental protection. Our activity unites me and my friends into a group through cooperation and team work. Together we go out to tour nature and learn about the field- this way we dont' just learn about nature, but we take an active role in protecting it. We also get to leave the city and experience Israel's vast expanse in new and interesting ways. SPNI's Orienteering program changed my views on the environment around me. I am more aware of the dangers posed to the world by pollution make more responsible decisions every day.
Before I throw a piece of trash away, I think about separating out the recyclables. The trips that I take with the group help me to feel much more connected to the Land of Israel and help me learn about all it's different aspects. My guiding course, which was two weeks, was very meaningful for me personally- I learned how to guide, how to be responsible for a group and be a leader. I got to know myself better, how to handle myself in when leading a group, and how to do my part when working as a team- all for protecting Israel's nature and environment."