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Our History

In 2004, the African Refugee Development Center (ARDC) was founded by a political refugee from Ethiopia who had resolved to help the thousands of other African asylum seekers fleeing to Israel. ARDC thus began its work as a humanitarian aid organization and originally provided new arrivals with shelter, food and medical attention. In 2009, ARDC began offering language classes, psychosocial support and paralegal assistance, as the community needs shifted to looking for longer-term solutions. 

ARDC has evolved over time to fit the ever-changing needs of the community, from its start as a shelter when asylum-seekers began arriving, to legal aid and rights empowerment, to language courses, and now to Higher Education and Economic Inclusion programs.

Since 2014, ARDC has focused its work on empowering the community and not only providing services. ARDC began offering community leadership courses, increased its advocacy efforts, expanded its paralegal outreach to many cities outside Tel Aviv, and shifted its education program from language classes to higher education and economic inclusion.

In the last years, our focus shifted from legal aid to social and economic inclusion. We hope to achieve this goal through our various higher education programs, which include language courses, vocational training, tutoring services, scholarship assistance and more.

Our Mission

To protect, assist and empower African refugees and asylum seekers in Israel by advocating on their behalf and enabling processes that increase their awareness, ensure participation and inspire policy change.

Our Values

  • Community-based: Asylum seeker community members hold key roles in decision-making 

  • Grassroots:  New initiatives and actions originate bottom-up and are based on community needs 

  • Synergy: ARDC creates synergy between projects and partners through shared resources and knowledge

Our Vision

To enable and ensure that all refugees and asylum seekers are free from persecution, live in dignity and have an opportunity to realize their aspirations

ARDC Historical Timeline 


2004 -2009

Humanitarian Relief

  • Shelter

  • Psycho - social care

  • Children's programs


2009 - 2013

Legal Aid & Empowerment

  • Legal Advice

  • Applying for refugee status (RSD)

  • Refugee education program focusing on language

  • Women's empowerment