A member of IsraAid helping out local residents in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy of IsraAID.
21. The Health Ministry in Kenya has adopted the model of Terem – a chain of independent emergency medical centers in Jerusalem that provides critical care within the community, dramatically reducing hospital visits. Kenya is setting up a chain of 50 such clinics in a move that will revolutionize the African country’s healthcare system. Some 35 million people live in Kenya, but hospitals are few and far between.
22. Norway is sending teachers to Israel to learn how to revitalize the Lapp language of Sámi. Of about 10 Sámi dialects once spoken in the country, only four are still known among the estimated 100,000 Sámi-speakers of Lapland and current teaching methods are not successful.
Israel is considered an expert in reviving old languages because of its experience recreating Hebrew. Israeli language experts have worked with experts in Scotland and Wales, where long-suppressed minority languages are now making a comeback.
23. A professional dancer who lost his right leg in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti is dancing once more thanks to the help of Israeli father and son, Yisrael and Yehuda Pilosof, who specialize in manufacturing precision artificial limbs. After the quake, Yehuda Pilosof flew to Haiti to help at an Israeli rehab center. He made limbs for 15 people, including the dancer who was flown to Israel for treatment. Since then the Pilosofs have led a seminar on prosthetics in Peru, and have made artificial limbs for soldiers in Sri Lanka on an Israeli humanitarian mission.
24. IsraAID is an Israeli humanitarian organization that gathers Israeli professionals from 17 different relief and activist organizations to respond to emergencies. Founded in 2001, it offers targeted help including disaster relief, search and rescue, rebuilding communities and schools, aid packages, medical assistance, micro-financing and post-psychotrauma care.
In 2004, IsraAID sent search-and-rescue teams and doctors to tsunami victims in Sri Lanka. In 2007, it sent medical staff to Peru after a major earthquake, and provided assistance at a refugee camp in Somalia.
In 2008, members flew to Myanmar after a major cyclone, and the following year IsraAID sent medical assistance to the Philippines after two devastating typhoons. IsraAID helped in the wake of the Haiti earthquake, and has provided aid in South Sudan.
25. Traumatized US war veterans are now being healed thanks to a novel treatment developed by Israeli-American psychologist Edna Foa. In the United States, an estimated half million war veterans from Vietnam, and another 300,000 from Afghanistan and Iraq, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Foa, honored by TIME magazine as one of the most influential people in 2010, developed a treatment called PE (Prolonged Exposure), designed to help patients focus on the thoughts and feelings that elicit the highest levels of fear, and then works with them to enable them to confront those fears, moving gradually from the minor to the major terrors.
26. MASHAV, the Center for International Cooperation, runs a variety of programs, but is best known for its training seminars in Israel and wherever needed –– Africa, the Middle East, South America, Central America, India, China — on techniques ranging from greenhouse management and irrigation to fish farming and dairy farming. MASHAV has trained some 200,000 people from about 140 countries and has set up dozens of demonstration projects in fields of Israeli expertise. MASHAV also sends medical aid around the world.
27. Israeli public health activist Dr. Zvi Bentwich, director of the Center for Emerging Tropical Diseases and AIDS at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), has been laboring for years to eradicate common parasitic infestations that contribute to Africa’s AIDS and tuberculosis epidemics. In 2011 he won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Israeli government for his groundbreaking medical contributions in Israel and among Africans.
28. A three-year-old British charity, Tag International Development, runs more than 20 health, agriculture, disaster preparedness and community development projects in developing nations. All of the knowledge and experience for these projects comes from Israel.
Israeli volunteers and professionals with Tag have launched beekeeping and road safety projects in Myanmar; empowerment seminars for Bedouin women in Israel and Jordan; emotional resilience, healthcare and weaving projects in Azerbaijan; model farm and agricultural training center in Sri Lanka; rain harvesting in Kenya; a safe drinking-water project in Pakistan, and a homecare project for the elderly in Indonesia.
29. When Japan was rocked by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, which killed nearly 16,000 people, the IDF sent doctors and other volunteers to set up a field hospital in one of the areas worst hit by the island nation’s worst-ever natural disaster. The facility had wards for pediatrics, surgery, maternity, gynecology, ophthalmology and intensive care, as well as a lab and a pharmacy. Israel also sent over tons of aid to Japanese communities.
Since then, Israel has continued to send regular delegations of specialists on post-trauma missions to help the victims of the disaster, training local teachers and mental health workers, and setting up youth leadership training programs for students from Japan’s Tohoku earthquake-affected region.
30. The Israeli company Pythagoras Solar has developed a new solar window that can generate power, reduce energy consumption and let in daylight, promising a green revolution in the construction industry.
The world’s first transparent photovoltaic glass unit, which won the prestigious GE Ecomagination Challenge, can easily be integrated into conventional building design. Existing office blocks can be retrofitted with the new material to take the place of energy-seeping glass windows.