At Hatzerim Airbase, giving back to the community is a year-long project: teenagers visit operational squadrons while soldiers and officers help them prepare for their exams
During Israel’s Day of Good Deeds, thousands of annual charity projects are conducted across the entire country. This important day arrives once a year but at Hatzerim Airbase, this date is not unique–good deeds are completed throughout the entire year. For two years, people serving at Hatzerim Airbase participate in the “Expanding Horizons” project which centers on giving back to “Ofakim”, a city which is nearby the airbase. “We make a lot of noise at night, so we make up for it during the day”, says one of the project’s leaders, Warrant Officer Geula Azulay of the maintenance formation in Hatzerim, with a smile.
In an effort to strengthen the bond between Ofakim and Hatzerim base, teenagers from around the city visit the airbase and the various formations in it. Mainly, the project is meant to help the teenagers prepare for their high school exams: twice a week, officers and soldiers arrive from around the base at the different schools of the city and assist the students in preparing for their exams while discussing dilemmas and various topics of interest.
“These little conversations and the significant assistance definitely tighten the bond”, says Warrant Officer Geula. “Our goal is to draw teens closer to the military, and show them what amazing things it encompasses. They arrive here and actually touch airplanes, see what we really do. It gives them mental strength and provides them with a bit more confidence”.