Breaking Stigmas, Bridging Communities
In the early 2000s, Eitan began his career as a mentor for individuals with mental disabilities. Through his work, he gained valuable experience and exposure to individuals with high levels of functioning, and he became acutely aware of the loneliness they experienced due to the social stigma attached to mental illness. Additionally, Eitan observed that many individuals with mental disabilities were being placed in jobs that did not align with their abilities or education level, which further perpetuated their sense of isolation and low self-esteem. Driven by these observations, Eitan founded ‘Makshivim’, a socio-digital project aimed at combatting loneliness, social stigma, and supporting empowerment. The project employs a digital solution model, which includes a moderator, and has been recognized globally as one of the five most advanced programs in the field of psychiatric rehabilitation.
Since 2008, Makshivim Net has been using innovative digital technology to advance healthcare. Originally focused on serving individuals with disabilities, the organization has expanded to include the general public in various health fields. Their objective is to integrate individuals with disabilities into suitable jobs and reduce loneliness while providing social support. Thousands of people with disabilities have benefited from their efforts. However, Eitan’s vision extended beyond this. He aimed to create digital programs promoting healthy lifestyles and behavioral change for chronic patients, pushing the boundaries of healthcare possibilities.
Eitan has learned that hope is not a strategy and instead takes action to make things happen. He embraces new challenges and thinks outside the box to find innovative solutions, despite facing resistance from established systems and budget constraints. Though there are challenges to overcome, Eitan remains dedicated to his mission and committed to pushing forward with his ideas.
Eitan’s driving force has always been his passion for innovation and finding better, more efficient ways to accomplish tasks. When he first created the Makshivim model, he was balancing work with individuals with mental disabilities with pursuing his master’s degree. Eitan’s natural inclination towards efficiency led him to develop a new idea – that laziness, necessity and creativity are often linked to great inventions. This belief inspired Eitan to explore ways to conserve energy while accomplishing tasks, ultimately fueling his imagination and entrepreneurship. His overarching goal is to find real solutions to improve society and make a positive impact on people’s lives. This passion for innovation has been a constant driving force throughout Eitan’s career, inspiring him to push the boundaries of what is possible and to find creative solutions to real-world problems.
Eitan believes in the tiger spirit approach to life. He encourages individuals to focus on their own goals and leverage their imagination to create innovative solutions, instead of getting stuck in the rat race of constant comparison. This philosophy has driven his work at Makshivim Net, where he has applied his innovative thinking to empower people with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
Eitan draws inspiration from within himself and his innate desire to create and imagine new solutions. His passion for helping populations with special needs has driven him to continuously improve and understand the advantages and disadvantages of the products he develops. This approach allows him to develop better solutions that stay relevant over time.
In 2005, Eitan founded the Makshivim project, a digital program aimed at reducing loneliness and improving self-esteem for people with mental disabilities. This innovative program has received recognition as one of the most advanced mental health programs by the IAPSRS organization. Eitan has been invited to speak and provide training on the program worldwide, and it has been published in universities such as in Germany, where it appears in a book on occupational therapy. In 2022, Eitan was awarded for his contributions to the field of health in Dubai.
Eitan believes that leadership is the ability to inspire and engage others to join in the journey voluntarily and promote an idea or a product. He emphasizes that a good leader is someone who can create more leaders and isn’t afraid of losing their own leadership. Eitan is passionate about empowering and encouraging others to develop innovative solutions and ideas.
As Eitan reflects on his journey, he attributes his passion for helping people with special needs to his experience of caring for his big brother with Down Syndrome. He found fulfillment in assisting his brother and witnessing the impact he could make in his life. Additionally, he cherished his time as a tutor for youth who were excluded from the official school system, as part of the “Ziv Neurim” association, where he taught them how to sail, surf, and dive. Eitan’s dedication to improving the lives of people with disabilities has been a constant driving force throughout his life.