Shavvim’s Vision: to help and promote people with disabilities in Israel by means of the media
NGO SHAVVIM: WHAT DO WE DO
To implement its vision and objectives, the organization founded and runs a news website under the name of Shavvim, which covers the lives of people with disabilities in Israel, including the barriers and injustices they face daily. The website also assists in impacting decision-makers to advance solutions for the good of this community. In the course of 2021, there were some 1.2 million entrances to the website and tens of follow-ups by major media outlets. In the course of its first three years, Shavvim’s accomplishments and impact have been increasingly growing. Most of the website’s content is written by people with disabilities who are trained by Shavvim as correspondents and are fully paid. Thus, we enable them to voice their own plights and successes by themselves.
Our Media Courses
Shavvim, together with Mifal Hapayis (Israel’s state lottery), also runs professional media training for people with disabilities and helps them integrate as employees in this industry. Last year, we ran a course for them in journalism and public relations, in collaboration with “Yedioth Ahronot”, the most popular newspaper in Israel, and its website Ynet. This year, together with The Israeli National Insurance Funds, we are expanding this activity by running four courses: Journalism, public relations, the spokesperson profession, digital marketing and TV. These courses are run in collaboration with “Yedioth-Ynet”, Reshet 13 (a major Israeli TV channel) and Gitam BBDO (leading advertising and marketing company).
The “Purple Night” project came about following a conversation with Prof. David Gracon, a lawyer who specializes in corporate responsibility and rights of people with disabilities. A few years ago, Prof. Gracon told us about a project of the “Purple Space” organization in Britain. In order to raise awareness of the pubic to people with disabilities, as an integral part of society, in 2017, this organization started lighting structures and buildings around the world in purple (a color identified with people with disabilities), to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD), celebrated every year on December 3rd.
Excited by this idea, we decided to adopt it. In 2020, together with Mifa’al Hapais, we inaugurated the Purple Night in Israel, lighting 110 public buildings, among them the mansion of Israel’s President, the Santiago Calatrava Cords Bridge in Jerusalem, the Reading Power Station in Tel Aviv, and more. Concurrently, we contacted the company operating the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which generously acquiesced to lit in purple the highest skyscraper in the world. The project received extensive coverage in the Israeli media. In 2021, we have already lit 150 buildings in Israel as well as a number of Israeli embassies around the world.
Every year we highlight a specific topic for the project. Last year, Purple Night was held as a call to employers, to open their doors before workers with disabilities. In December 2022, the Purple Night will be dedicated to “integration of people with disabilities in society, in their communities and at work.” Since December 3rd falls on Saturday night, the event in Israel will be held on December 1st, namely two days earlier.