Photo: Lior Sprendau
Warriors without Borders
Photo: Lior Sprendau

IDF veterans volunteer at Rio favelas

Young Israelis on their post-army trip volunteer with Heroes for Life at various locations in 3rd world countries; Lior Tabib is volunteering in Brazil in memory of his army friend Capt. Tal Nachman, who was killed in a friendly fire incident in 2014.

Twenty-five Israeli backpackers on their post-army trip, most of them veterans of IDF combat units, have decided to volunteer in the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro, tutoring the local children in English and math as well as renovating community institutions as part of the Heroes for Life program.



One of the volunteers, Lior Tabib, 25, is a former Air Force officer who lost his friend Capt. Tal Nachman in 2014 in Gaza. The two had planned to travel through South America together, and Lior decided to join the delegation in his friend’s memory.


Former IDF soldiers volunteer at Rio favelas    (צילום: ליאור ספרנדאו)

Former IDF soldiers volunteer at Rio favelas   (Video: Lior Sperandeo)


שליחה לחבר

 הקלידו את הקוד המוצג
תמונה חדשה

הסרטון נשלח לחברך


הטמעת הסרטון באתר שלך

 קוד להטמעה:

"I knew Tal for nine years," Lior said. "before he decided to extend his army service, we agreed that we would travel together, because we were supposed to be discharged at the same time. That was four years ago, and we never got around to planning the minute details of our trip.
“I signed up to volunteer because I wanted to do something meaningful on my trip, something different, something for Tal. To me, volunteering is an opportunity to do good with no interest—just as Tal would have. I am sure if he were alive, we would be doing this together."


Warriors Without Borders Rio (Photo: Lior Sprendau)
Warriors Without Borders Rio (Photo: Lior Sprendau)


Capt. Nachman was killed in a friendly fire incident during operations on the Gaza border four years ago, when a soldier from the Givati reconnaissance battalion accidentally shot him after mistaking another soldier for a terrorist.


Tal Nachman
Tal Nachman


At first, Lior and his colleagues worked at the Cantagalo Favela, and recently they moved to another location at a community center in the Pavuna neighborhood, which is located at the periphery of the city and surrounded by favelas.


Every day, Lior and his friends hold classes in different subjects for the local children with the help of members of the Jewish community in the city, who serve as interpreters.


The volunteers are also helping renovate the community center in the neighborhood.


They are also active in the favelas of the city of Niterói, which is across Guanabara Bay from Rio.


 (Photo: Lior Sprendau)
(Photo: Lior Sprendau)


Heroes for Life was founded in 2014 by three officers from the Duvdevan unit who, while travelling in the Far East, encountered the many Israelis who were visiting third world countries and realized the potential of using that resource to present Israel in a positive light through volunteer work.


Heroes for Life is chaired by former Air Force commander Maj. Gen. (res.) Eliezer Shkedi. The only condition to joining a Heroes for Life delegation is first volunteering with the organization at a youth village in Israel for three days.


This year’s delegation is called “Team Daniel” after Danieli Zonenfeld, a National Service volunteer who was working with children with cancer at the Schneider Medical Center. She was killed in a traffic accident three years ago.


“We began our activities less than four years ago, and this is already the 13th delegation," said organization founder Gili Cohen. "In addition to Brazil, there are delegations going to India, Nepal, South Africa, Guatemala, Mexico, Argentina and Ethiopia each year. This is an excellent opportunity for discharged soldiers to combine a value-based activity with their post-army trip, with an emphasis on presenting the true face of Israel to the world.”


פרסום ראשון: 03.11.18, 09:31
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