During the recent Corona crisis, teams from the Department for Community Work in the Welfare and Social Services Division and 'Kivunim' – The Municipal Organization for Recreation and Culture in Beer Sheva assembled 17 neighborhood patrols made up of residents from the city's different neighborhoods, all volunteering on behalf of their own local neighborhood. The residents helped locate and map the needs of the neighborhood residents and organized various community activities during the Corona lockdown period.
With a return to "The New Normal", residents expressed their desire to preserve the spirit of solidarity and mutual responsibility by initiating a neighborhood cleaning campaign. 400 residents took part in the campaign, which was held on the afternoon of Monday, May 25, and helped clean the areas around residential buildings, shopping centers, parks, and other places in need of cleaning.
together with the Department for Community Work in the Welfare Division, 'Kivunim', and the Division for the Environment, we provided organizational and logistical support but the residents themselves were responsible, both for the idea and practical execution of the campaign, as they sought to benefit others living in their neighborhood.
The study we conducted (click here to see the summary) revealed that the residents' involvement in preserving cleanliness is the key to a cleaner city. The messages of the cleaning campaign accordingly touched on the sense of belonging to the neighborhood and the residents' personal responsibility for its cleanliness.
After the campaign, we circulated a questionnaire among the participants to receive feedback about their experience and to learn how their participation may influence future cleanliness-related behavior. Measuring the influence is one of our primary operative principles and the questionnaire produced several interesting insights, including that:
· Approximately 50% of the residents described their participation in the campaign as an excellent experience and would like to participate in similar activities in the future.
· 41% of the residents joined the campaign because they like their neighborhood and 35% participated because they are concerned about rubbish in the neighborhood.
One of the residents wrote that: "…the experience was inspiring for everyone, even the young children enjoyed volunteering and learned to help and to appreciate the importance of taking care of the environment. Thank you for spurring us to action for the good of the neighborhood. 👍🙏❤"