Ben Shemen Youth Village Project
In March 2015, Ben Shemen inaugurated a 1-dunam computerized hydroponic greenhouse. The facility is intended to teach hydroponic agriculture and does not currently include the teaching of business skills; however, it is self-sustaining based on the sale of the produce to recognized markets. StartUpRoots can expand Ben Shemen's hydroponic farming program and take students to the next level. Its first course would use hydroponics as a vehicle to teach entrepreneurship skills. In this eight session course facilitators would lead small groups of students from idea to solution. Sessions include learning the elements of a business, financing, market research, social responsibility, building a business plan, and presenting the idea to a panel of peers for comment. The second course, culinary arts and nutrition, would teach students what to do with the produce they grow in the hydroponic facility, as well as with the rest of the agricultural facility. In culinary arts and nutrition, students would learn food preparation techniques as well as basic nutritional science. The importance of diet and proper exercise habits would also be discussed. The culmination of this course would be a healthy dinner planned and prepared for the students for guests. This course would be taught by a registered dietitian.
To ensure that the students receive the attention necessary for success, each 8-week course section is designed for 15 students. A course may have more than one section running concurrently.
To launch this program SUR seeks 25,000 nis for instructional costs and materials.