Ten new immigrant teenage girls are taking part in a new budgeting course given at YEDID’s Dimona Center. There are 10 girls in the group – new immigrants form the Former Soviet Union – in 11th and 12th grade.
The girls are serious about the goal of the project, mature for their age and prepared to learn the right way to handle expenses and budgeting.
Each girl has at least some working experience: in hotels, restaurants, leading groups, secretarial work, as cosmeticians, mostly during school vacations. Eight girls, however, have steady weekend jobs in Dead Sea or Dimona area hotels. The girls are all studying for bagrut (university matriculation) exams, and most of them add to their family's income (most are from single-parent families). They pay for their own cell phones and buy their own clothes, but still exhibit the usual teenager behavior patterns.
After the first three workshops, each girl expressed increased motivation to learn more and not repeat their family's undesirable financial behavior patterns (mainly debts and other financial nightmares accrued because of lack of information).
The girls have strong feelings of caring about their milieu, mainly about the climate in which they and their peers are growing up. They are greatly affected by reports of violence among youth, drugs, corruption and moral scandals among those who are purported to lead the country.
Throughout the course, YEDID teaches the basics of budgeting, however these basics include other vital tools for everyday living, such as, control, preferences, self-worth, interpersonal communication, concern about one's environment, how to react in various situation and how to acquire information when dealing with what life throws at us.
The girls admit that up until now they used to spend their money without thinking; they work hard but do not give themselves enough credit nor is their work always appreciated ("As much as we accomplish, they do not appreciate it and will never give us a good word"). Now they want to take control of their lives and their fate and become more independent.
We can tell that much of the information is passed along to their parents and there is growing cooperation between parent and child in the area of budgeting – a subject which is quite often a bone of contention between parents and teenagers.
YEDID has enjoyed close cooperation with the Dimona Ofek Center operating under the auspices of the Municipal Department of Social Welfare.