Sderot Young Leaders is a movement led by youth which started in 2008 due to the daily bombardment of Israel, and Sderot in particular, which has been going on since 2004 [check it]. The main effect was and continues to be widespread psychological trauma and disruption of daily life among the Israeli populace. Medical studies in Sderot have documented a post-traumatic stress disorder incidence among young children of almost 50%, as well as high rates of depression. These bombings have been going on for 14 years. Many kids had never known peace in their town.
This situation has led to an obvious decline of educational and leadership activity within the community due to these constant disruptions of their everyday life. The general consensus in the town was that not enough was being done to help them so they need to help themselves. This led in 2008 to the birth of SYL - Sderot Young Leaders Program - at the initiative of some local young people and some adult volunteers. Its objectives were to provide the local children with a youth club, training and personal development facilities to help develop a better future.
SYL promotes leadership skills among the youth of Sderot, and having been part of the IAYP (International Award for Young People Israel), adopted its core values of community service, skills development, physical improvement and expeditions.
The young leaders participate on a weekly basis in these activities, as well as expeditions not only around Israel, but also to the US, UK and Hungary. The kids take part in the Model-UN and have trips to high-tech companies.
But the real gem of SYL is its leaders and mentors, all of whom have developed in the program itself.