A groundbreaking Bedouin leadership that unites the Negev and strengthens Israeli society.
Of the 240,000 Bedouin in the Negev, most are children under the age of 18. The Bedouin community is growing rapidly; by 2035, they will constitute half of the Negev population.
Bedouin children score lowest on Israeli measures of educational achievement. Today, 30% of 17-year-olds drop out of high school and less than 10% of Bedouin between the ages of 25-54 hold a post-secondary degree.
Negev Bedouin face higher unemployment and lower salaries than any other Israeli community. Only 24% of women and 60% of men are employed.
The majority of Negev Bedouin live in poverty. Residents of all seven permanent Bedouin towns contend with overcrowding, poor health, crime, violence, and limited access to a quality education and good employment.
Community & Tribal Structure
Entrenched tribal systems dictate community life. Neighborhoods and schools are segregated by tribe. Tribal forces control administrative appointments, the distribution of resources, and children's education.
Relations between tribes range from productive collaborations to violent struggles. As a result, there is no agreed-upon leadership able to heal and advance the entire community.
The Community Today: Socio-Economic Picture
Desert Stars Theory of Change: Leadership is the key to social change
Desert Stars is building a generation of Bedouin leaders to promote a thriving Bedouin community and a strong Israeli society. We empower mission-driven young people to realize their individual and collective potential as change-making leaders.
The situation will improve as…
We train more "stars"
More stars ascend to influential leadership positions
More stars work together to solve community needs
More community members support Desert Stars and its values
More Israelis are positively influenced by the unifying leadership of the stars
Necessary conditions for success
Recruitment of the right young people with the potential for success
Intensive and supportive programming and long-term guidance
Bedouin leadership at all levels of Desert Stars
A consistent Desert Stars culture that encourages life-long learning
The belief, support, and involvement of the Bedouin community
Cross-tribal engagement and a cross-tribal network of leaders
Holistic training that combines formal and informal education
Connection to Israeli society, Israeli institutions, and to the Israeli State
We operate a series of educational programs to train a cross-tribal network of leaders:
The Rawafed Empowerment Center
Stars Leadership High School
Raidat Leadership Program for Women
Incubator for Leadership
The Desert Stars Network