Wednesday, January 27, 2010

MASHAV 2.0 - Israel Center for International Cooperation goes digital

Israel Center for International Cooperation (MASHAV, acronym in Hebrew) is a division in Israel's Foreign Ministry, and functions as a national Foreign Aid Agency. Since its creation in 1958, MASHAV has trained about 250,000 people from 140 countries, in Israel and in developing countries, providing training in a variety of areas, including agriculture, public health and medical programs, community development, integrated rural regional development and other areas.

Therefore, it was only natural for international agency like MASHAV to open up for social media. A year ago MASHAV created a fan page on Facebook - and it was the first fan page by the Israel's Foreign Ministry. Today MASHAV has more than 700 fans on facebook, but the number is less important than the profile of the fans. Many of them are people all around the world who participated in the Training Programs of MASHAV, and now they can keep in touch and be updated about the new programs, or raise ideas for new cooperation projects.

Another important achievement of this fan page was that it allowed for people who never visited Israel to learn about its experience in various areas of development. Among the fans of MASHAV we even have people from Moslem countries that don't have dplomatic ties with Israel. For the nation of Israel, who strives for recognition and good relationship with the Moslem world, this is in itself a significamt step.

You can visit Facebook page of MASHAV: http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Jerusalem-Israel/MASHAV-Israel-Center-for-International-Cooperation/51129389672?v=wall&ref=ts

Encouraged by the success of their Facebook page, Mashav expanded its interaction thfough the social media and opened Twitter account:
http://twitter.com/MASHAVisrael

The account was opened four months ago. Indeed, MASHAV has only 40 people following it, but... once again, the number is not everything. Look who are among MASHAV's twitter followers: UN, UNDP, OECD, FAO, USAID, ClintonNews, to name a few. With followers like these you can feel connected to the world...

Today Mashav has also its official blog: http://mashavdevelopmentnews.blogspot.com/,
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/43563922@N03/, and they feel its only a beginning of the digital journey...

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