Etza – Israel Self Help Center is the professional body in the field of self and mutual help in Israel which disseminates, nurtures and fosters organizational processes of social entrepreneurs, groups and organizations in order to ease their coping with mutual problems and to improve the quality of their lives
Etza is a registered nonprofit association dedicated to forming and sustaining self help groups and organizations all over Israel. It is the only such center in Israel.
Through professionally led training courses, networking services, and organizational counseling, Etza provides grassroots initiatives with the tools and encouragement to provide the public with an ongoing support system.
What is self help?
Self help is a concept based on people’s abilities to gather strength in times of stress and crisis, allowing them to help themselves and others with similar difficulties regain control of their lives. Self help builds on inner strengths in order to increase coping capabilities.
What is a self help group?
A self help group consists of people who have personal experiences of facing similar difficulties or life situations. Sharing experiences and knowledge enables group members to support each other, pool practical information and develop new methods of coping. Together the group members develop a support system and eventually graduate from a support group led by a professional to an independently run self help support group or the formation of a self help organization..
What are the benefits of self help as a tool for coping?
Members of support groups find that self help is an invaluable tool as it reduces isolation, builds self-esteem and promotes strengthening and healing for physical, emotional and social problems.
Self help is an important vehicle for distributing information, assisting others in similar situations, and providing a self-reliant support system.
To increase both public and professional awareness of the value of self help as a method of coping with personal difficulties.
- To increase the number of self help groups in peripheral areas in Israel.
- To reach out to new sectors of society and encourage the creation of self help groups.
- To provide the tools and methods for disadvantaged populations to be better equipped to deal with their difficult life situations.
- To maintain and provide up-to-date and accurate information regarding self help groups and organizations.
- To reach minority populations in Northern Israel by expanding and developing activities organized by Etza’s Haifa Self Help Center.
- To establish a self help center in Southern Israel to serve the local population.
- To provide training courses and seminars on topics concerning self help to professionals and to leading members of self help groups.
- To strengthen seedling self help groups by availing them hothouse services including consultations, the use of Etza”s meeting rooms and office facilities.
Self Help Activity in Haifa
The Community Work Unit in Haifa’s municipality is promoting self help guidance for lay people and professionals.
On the International Scene
Etza is a member of the European Forum of Self Help Centers and attends its bi-annual conferences.