Ma'ase was established in 2004 with the purpose of promoting value-based volunteerism and leading the way with equal opportunity, professional volunteer frameworks for Israeli youth. Ma'ase claims that the phenomenon of volunteering among Israelis aged 18 and up must be expanded to include the peripheries. This, from its belief that the greatest contribution from volunteering is enjoyed by the volunteers themselves. The Ma'ase activism paradigm was structured through an in-depth strategic process conducted in collaboration with the Shaldor company, a leader in social and business strategy consultancy in Israel. The Ma'ase paradigm encompasses a broad range of research in Israel and worldwide, and includes the following premises: • Israel displays significant social disparities between periphery and center which widen from year to year. • Volunteerism is a meaningful tool for reducing disparities and creating social mobility. • The volunteers themselves are the most benefitted from volunteer activities (in spheres such as personal development and ability to integrate into the workforce), with emphasis on volunteers from mid-range of the socio-economic scale. • The added value for volunteers depends to a great degree on the quality of training, placement and support they receive. • In organizations offering exposure to a heterogeneous population, the social capital created forms a bridge towards a more tolerant society.
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