Partnerships, active in 2020-21
Beit Atfal Assumoud (BAS)
The National Institution of Social Care and Vocational Training, more commonly known as Beit Atfal Assumoud [Centre for Resilient Children], is a humanitarian NGO with no affiliation to any political or religious group. It was established in 1976, and for almost 50 years has been providing services for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and for other disadvantaged people living in camps or on their peripheries. BAS’s on-going services address the needs of refugee families. Through a variety of gender-balanced projects, it also builds up the potentials and skills of children, youth, women, and parents or guardians. Some of the services BAS provides include remedial education classes, vocational training, kindergartens, children and youth activities, embroidery projects, family guidance centres, dental services and reproductive health projects.
The program at BAS which CEPAL is a most immediate partner in is its Learning Support Program. This Program’s core values are “diversity, respect and gender equality” and its goals include “increased engagement of students by familiarizing them with online learning,”, and “reduced rate of ‘drop out’ students.” The program was begun in 2012 and operates now at eight BAS centres throughout Lebanon. For most of these years, the program supported 500+ Palestinian children attending Cycle 1 (K-2) classes at United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools. Recently, 200+ Syrian and Palestino-Syrian children were integrated, whose formal schooling is instead at UNHCR or Lebanese public schools. Many have already missed the opportunity to attend the usual first years of school, and are particularly vulnerable to becoming “drop outs” from further schooling.
In fall 2021, CEPAL co-partnered with BAS on a project proposal for the creation and testing of Parents’ Coaching Circles for Young Students in the camps.
Thaki, or “smart” in Arabic, Thaki is a social impact non-profit, non-sectarian, non-political association founded in 2015. It operates on a donation model for second-hand laptops mostly, but tablets and projectors as well. It targets corporate and institutional donors who typically have a two or three-year retirement policy on their laptops. It requires that these devices possess chargers, be fully functional, and have a remaining lifespan of at least three-years. Due to the power unavailability and internet connectivity issues in Lebanon, Thaki puts both open-source and proprietary e-learning educational content onto these laptops, in Arabic and English. Their recipient partners primarily are NGOs who operate in vulnerable communities, such as ANERA, Teach for Lebanon, or ULYP. Thaki’s laptop education content has a strong focus on the SDGs, including SDGs 4 (Quality Education) and 5 (Gender Equality). Their work stems from a deep belief that education is the pathway towards gender equality. Last year, Thaki was a successful applicant in MIT’s Learning for Girls and Women challenge.
In fall 2021, CEPAL also co-partnered with Thaki on a funding proposal for the creation and testing of Parents’ Coaching Circles for Young Students in the camps.
Unite Lebanon Youth Project (ULYP) is a nonprofit organization established in 2010 to propel a paradigm shift in Lebanon from a nation that is divided along religious, political, socio-economic, and ethnic lines to one where people can co-exist, unite, and work together for a better future. ULYP does this through creating educational opportunities and giving equal access to quality educational programs to children, youth, and women in marginalized communities. ULYP’s programs raise general awareness on mutual respect, tolerance, and acceptance of the other to create a dialogue of peace. ULYP’s mission is to empower marginalized children, youth, and women living in Lebanon today with the skills and knowledge they need to change and become active agents of change for a better tomorrow, without any discrimination.
In summer 2021, CEPAL cooperated with ULYP on a distance tutoring initiative, focused on high school graduates in Wavel refugee camp, in the Beqaa Valley near Baalbek.
Partnerships, active in past years
Arab Resource Centre on Popular Arts (ARCPA) / Al Jana
ARCPA, more commonly referred to as ‘Al Jana’ – the harvest, is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 in response to the needs of the community and grassroot NGOs for a resource centre that provides training and resources relating to youth, culture and creative expression. The Centre works to both impart skills and instill self-confidence in Palestinian children and youth through arts activities and learning based in creative pedagogical techniques. Some of their past and present initiatives include establishing a network of child-friendly libraries, providing workshops for young filmmakers and hosting Palestinian and Children’s Film Festivals, facilitating child-to-child landmine awareness workshops, collecting oral testimonies from Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, facilitating music, writing and drawing programs for children and youth, running Summer Encounters workshops to develop skills and capacities of librarians, animators and volunteers, coordinating Spring Festivals to promote solidarity among the neediest and marginalized communities of Lebanon, regardless of their sectarian background, provide public access to their multimedia labs and library. ARCPA’s approach is thus pro-active: helping young Palestinians to survive their present difficulties by equipping them with important skills such as critical thinking, imaginative problem solving, effective interpersonal communication, and creative expression.
The Children and Youth Centre was founded in 1997 to serve the Shatila community and to provide a place for children and youth to develop their learning, abilities and imagination. It is an organization that places a great deal of importance on community work and strives to make its members sensitive to social justice issues, by empowering them as youth with a variety of skills. Its aim is to develop an aware and responsible generation that is able and determined to positively contribute to the community around it. CYC works in the following areas: child and human rights by emphasizing gender equality, religious tolerance and non-discriminatory rights to literacy; peer education delivered through participatory workshops and linked reflective practice; confirming Palestinian history and identity; training workshops, children’s activities, recreational and educational excursions, after-school academic follow-up, arts and sports activities, journalism workshops, summer camps, cultural events and community wellness seminars.
Association Najdeh (AN) was founded in 1976 and works primarily to empower disadvantaged women to become positive contributors to the Palestinian refugee community in Lebanon. Its programs include vocational training, popular education and tutorial programs, mother and child programs, social affairs, domestic violence programs, micro-credit projects and embroidery. It also works on educational initiatives related to reproductive health, women’s rights and child rights. Najdeh operates in 26 centres in and around refugee camps in Lebanon and reaches over 10 000 refugees through its programs.
The NAVTSS (formerly known as VTTC) is an independent social and educational institution established in 1983. It works to combat illiteracy, poverty and disease, helping young men and women in their career choices by offering intensive vocational training based on current market demands in Lebanon. Furthermore, it works to empower youth by running training workshops geared at community mobilization, human and child rights, gender and conflict resolution, facilitation and communication skills, time management and decision making skills. They run six vocational training centres and several cultural centres in Lebanon and train an average of 350 women every year in fields such as nursing and hairdressing.
PARD was founded in 1985 as a grassroots, non-profit, non governmental organization that seeks to improve the health and environmental conditions in unofficial adjacent to camp] Palestinian gatherings and displaced persons’ residence sites through water and sanitation programs, mother and child care services and by raising awareness and empowering the local communities. It envisages environmentally clean and healthy Palestinian communities whose members are actively participating in the development of their own communities. It currently provides primary and secondary health services through a network of five clinics in Lebanon, a range of environmental services including water supply and sewerage network rehabilitation and construction, preventive health programs, community development centres with activities targeting women, children and youth and First Aid service by trained youth volunteers in three centres.
UNRWA was established by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 302 (IV) of December 8th, 1949. The purpose of UNRWA is to carry out direct relief and human development programs for Palestine refugees subsequent to the expulsion of Palestinians from their land following the creation of Israel in 1948. Currently, UNRWA provides education, health, relief and social services to over 4.6 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It staffs more than 29 000 people, the majority of whom are refugees, and comprises the largest UN operation in the Middle East. UNRWA has been the main provider of basic education to Palestinian refugees over the past seven decades and operates one of the largest school systems in the Middle-East. UNRWA provides primary and junior secondary schooling, vocational and technical training courses, teacher-training programmes and scholarships to qualified refugee yout
UNRWA’s several Women’s Centres are aimed at empowering women by offering skills-training to enable women to earn income, literacy training and household maintenance and income conservation assistance. Several centres offer assistance with legal and civic matters and child-care facilities for working women. Centres also provide educational and summer programs for children and youth and are involved in health education for women.
The Women’s Humanitarian Organization was founded in 1993 to serve women and children living in Bourj El-Barajneh refugee camp. Its goals are to provide necessary care for women and children, empowering and training women socially and vocationally, establishing various centres of readiness and training in order to achieve the purposes and aims of the Association, establishing special centres for women and children’s care, and conducting readiness training programs. The organization currently works to provide early childhood education (nursery), kindergarten (three-to-six years old), vocational training (computer literacy, handicrafts, sewing), an elderly care program, a day-care program for the children of working mothers, an after-school tutoring program, a summer activities program for children and youth, physiotherapy and a community disability project.