Students from the village of Julis carry the Druze flag as they participate in a tiyul of the Galilee
Ma'ase Olam is a subdivision of an expansive, award winning Israeli nonprofit called Mercaz Ma'ase. Ma'ase ("deed" or "action" in Hebrew) was established in 2004 to promote the value of volunteering and to spearhead professional volunteer frameworks for young people in Israel's peripheral communities.
Ma'ase's approach is innovative and unique, based on an equal demand for achievement and a true belief in the ability of young people in Israel to develop and succeed. Ma’ase is building a high-quality, professional method for working with young people through different volunteer programs, aiming to create an empowering experience and to make volunteering equally accessible to the entire population.
Ma’ase has been recognized for its achievements in working for a more inclusive and equitable Israel:
- 2012 - Tel Aviv University awarded Miki Nevo, Ma'ase's founder and director, an honorary doctorate degree for his dedication to and accomplishments enhancing Israeli society
- 2011 - Ma’ase was chosen to receive an award for its empowerment programs for engaged and committed youth. The award was given to Ma'ase at the recommendation of the Ministry of Defense’s Social Department, honoring Ma’ase as a leader in promoting processes of empowerment of youth from disadvantaged populations.
- 2010 - The Marker, a popular news magazine in Israel, named Miki Nevo, Ma’ase’s founder and director, one of the 101 most influential people in Israeli society.
- 2010 - Ma'ase was named the winner of the Speaker of the Knesset Quality of Life Award for its work promoting tolerance and narrowing social gaps in Israeli society.
- 2010 - Ma’ase was awarded the Sderot Conference prestigious Award for Social Responsibility
Today, Ma'ase is operating programs for over 700 young volunteers in 50 local municipalities from Beer Sheva in the south to Kiryat Shemona in the north. Ma'ase’s volunteers come from diverse populations in Israel: Jewish and Arab, religious and secular, immigrants from Ethiopia and the Caucasus region, and those from higher and lower socio-economic backgrounds. Ma'ase also provides content, training and placement services for approximately 1,000 additional volunteers from social organizations.
“We had our first meeting with Miki, the head and founder of Ma’ase. I really enjoyed hearing his perspective and approach to education….His main focus is not asking people how we can help them, but demanding a high level from everyone to work with others. The bar has been set quite high for our group, and I'm sure we will be able to meet and exceed the expectations.” – Ma’ase Olam Participant