Israeli Students Meet The Pope Through Design For Change

Children can make real changes in the world


(Courtesy Ruach Tova)

Children can make a big difference in the world. All they need is an I can mindset and they can design real solutions and create real impact in the world around them.

That's the idea behind the organization Design for Change, a global educational program that provides tools for entrepreneurship and social engagement among children and youth. This organization is why the five students to meet with Pope Francis in Rome.

The Israeli branch is implemented through Ruach Tova (good spirit) association in partnership with Ruthie Sobel Lutenberg, founder and director of Pedagogy Creating Change Israelis. Design for Change is funded in Israel by the Ted Arison Family Foundation. This partnership enabled students from Yad Mordechai School in Bat Yam and Blich School in Ramat Gan to participate in the annual International Design for Change conference that was held in Rome, Italy from November 26-30, 2019.

The children from 40 countries met with Pope Francis who told them, "Dear Children…Please, don’t just observe life from the balcony! Meet the challenges... You must make noise; you are the seed of change of this society.”

The children gave the Pope a hand-made quilt that was made up of 40 flags that the children made to symbolize their countries and was a symbol of their unity. The Pope praised the participants for their commitment to the environment and their ability to create true change in the world.

Design for Change Israel has made a big impact since its founding in 2012. It started in just 20 schools and now reaches nearly 700 schools and 15,000 students. The organization works in partnership with Israel's ministry of eduation. Once a year, the organization holds a convention and invites the students to present their projects for change. The best and most impactful projects are sent to the international conference.

The organization believes that If we wait for children to grow up before they make a positive impact on the world, then we are missing a great opportunity to allow our children to become creative, empathetic, and responsible world citizens. That is a message worth sharing.

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