Israeli Non-Profit is Saving Lives by the Millions

We all want to make a difference in the world, and Sivan Borowich Ya’ari is no different. That’s why when, on a business trip to the denim district of Africa, she saw an opportunity to help the suffering people in the African community, she knew what she had to do.

From that initial desire to help, Innovation: Africa was born, and they have been making this world a better place ever since. Who is Innovation: Africa? What do they do? And why are they making such a difference to the world? Find out this and more as we explore this humanitarian aid group that seems to know exactly how to get the job done.

How Innovation: Africa is Changing the World

Innovation: Africa has only been around since 2008, but they’ve managed to do a whole lot of good in that short time. They have launched over 100 individual projects across Africa and helped close to 1 million African citizens with their relief efforts.

Various projects have been launched to promote better living conditions for those suffering from poverty, hunger, poor medical treatments, and rampant diseases caused by unsanitary water supplies. The initiatives have brought clean water, solar energy, food supplies, and much needed medical care to those in need. One meaningful project that was launched involved bringing light to schools and orphanages that were living in the dark until then.

Innovation: Africa’s reach has covered the continent, spanning countries including Ethiopia, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, and Uganda.


Sharing the Wealth

As an Israeli-launched and run firm, Innovation: Africa knows the dramatic breakthroughs that Israelis have made in the fields of technology and agriculture. This non-profit organization is responsible for bringing popular Israeli agricultural technologies that have successfully transformed a dried out desert wasteland into a flourishing center for produce, vegetation, and of course technology.

Using solar-powered water pumps, drip irrigation, and other innovations, Ya’ari has increased agricultural productivity in the region, created more jobs for farmers, and provided an ecosystem for stronger, healthier economic growth. This solar pump technology that the Israelis are sharing with Africa takes advantage of the vast supply of water hidden under the ground. There is as much as 5,000 gallons of water sitting below the earth’s surface, and these pumps are collecting the water for use in the fields via the latest drip irrigation systems that have been installed.

Promoting Better Health Standards

Another powerful initiative launched by Innovation: Africa brought more vaccinations to the children of Africa. Currently, more than 300,000 African children have received vaccines from life-threatening diseases such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, and tetanus. Innovation: Africa used to be called the Jewish Heart for Africa, and while the name has changed, clearly the message remains the same.

Telling the Truth About Humanitarian Israel

In December 2015, the British Daily Mail reported that Israel had saved more than 2,000 Syrians since 2013, at a cost of 50 million shekels ($13 million). Many of those saved were Islamic militants and sworn enemies of Israel, while only around 20 percent were civilians, according to the report.

These humanitarian rescue missions are very controversial. Why should Israel risk its soldiers and spend money to rescue Salafists who have a burning wish to destroy Israel? But it does, and this attests yet again to the under-reporting of facts about Israel in the international media. Compared to Israel’s size and the magnitude of Israel’s own security issues in the region, it is remarkable how Israel manages to be there for so many people in need around the world. When detractors whine about Israel not carrying its share of humanitarian outreach in the region, they are of course conveniently overlooking the fact that Israel is carrying infinitely more than what should be expected of a nation of Israel’s size, especially when that nation is actually treating and caring for its own enemies.

In just one development, Israel saved a 5-year old girl after she was seriously wounded in a firefight between rival militias in Syria. But that was not all. Israel is now also saving her from the cancer Israeli doctors discovered she was suffering while she was hospitalized in Haifa’s Rambam Hospital.

The story reads like something out of a thriller that could only take place in Israel: The hospital refused to release the girl after doctors discovered that she had cancer and security officials agreed. A bone marrow donor had to be found, and was — a relative living in an unnamed country that is an enemy of Israel’s, rendering it impossible for the relative to travel openly to Israel. Instead, a secret operation by Israel’s security services was launched to smuggle the relative out of that country and into Israel. The relative arrived on Monday and is now quarantined at the hospital with the girl, awaiting for the first round of treatment.

All the characteristics of the typical Israeli approach to life make up the ingredients of this story: the feeling of extreme responsibility of the doctors, refusing to let the girl go after saving her life once, and the almost unbelievable willingness of the security forces to risk their own soldiers to save her. This is Israel at its best and it is not a rare occurrence in this country, even if this particular example is of course extraordinary.

This is the ethos of Judaism and it is the ethos of Israel. But the world will never acknowledge this, because it refuses to see and hear the truth about Israel with a savage stubbornness that is reserved only for Israel. Appreciating that Israel values life above all else — all life, not just Jewish life — would make the anti-Israeli hatred, the anti-Jewish tropes and caricatures, the howls of “apartheid” and “injustice” melt away in an instant.

In an age where facts have long ceased to matter, however, all that the haters, especially those in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, have to do is ignore those facts. The world is overflowing with naked emperors prancing about, peddling their lies and delusions to uncritical and impressionable audiences, who are much too willing to subscribe to them.

Thankfully, however, those lies and delusions are not having much of an impact on Israel itself. They are, however, having a detrimental effect on especially Diaspora Jewry around the world, notably on young Jewish students on college and university campuses in the West, where the anti-Israeli narratives are strong and thriving, not only in the BDS movement, but even among college and university staff to whom these narratives are almost as natural as breathing.

It is only persistence and proud stubbornness that will ultimately make the truth about Israel prevail in those dark corners, where the prejudiced hatred against Israel is allowed to fester. It is a supreme irony, of course, that Western universities have become feeding grounds for this hatred, considering that they are the rightful inheritors of the tradition of Enlightenment. This irony, however, is lost on most college students today, but it ought not to be lost on those who still believe in the value of truth and getting that truth out there. The story of Israel’s rescue of Syrians would be a good place to start.

(Originally published on Israel Hayom)