Launching WARED Project
Funded by the European Union and managed by OMSAR
Safadi Foundation launches WARED Project to reinforce women’s role
In Akkar through the cultivation and production of aromatic plants
Within the “Afkar 3” program, funded by the European Union and managed by the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform OMSAR, Safadi Foundation has launched its new project “Women Active in Rural Economic Development WARED”, in cooperation with the Municipality of Qobayat, and the unions of the municipalities of Jurd al-Qaitaa and the municipalities of al-Jouma. It was launched in Safadi Agricultural Center, in Deir Dalloum, Akkar, to benefit and empower about 100 women in the region of Akkar, through the cultivation and production of aromatic plants.
During the signing ceremony, a cooperation protocol between the Foundation and the Project’s partners was signed in the presence of the representative of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform, Mr. Nabil De Freije, and the Director of “Afkar 3” Mrs. Yumna Ghrayeb, and the President of the union of municipalities of Jurd al-Qataa Mr. Abdullah Zakaria, represented by the Vice President of the union, Mr. Hatem Othman, along with the President of the union of the municipalities of al-Jouma Mr. Fadi Barbar, represented by the Legal Counsel of the union, Mr. Nabil Khabazy. The Mayor of al-Qubayat Mr. Abdo Abdo, represented by Deputy Mayor, Mr. Joseph Khattar, and the General Director of Safadi Foundation, Mrs. Rana Mawlawi were also present.
After a detailed presentation of the objectives and activities of the project of the agronomist at the Safadi Foundation Mr. Emile al-Asmar, Mrs. Mawlawi considered that “the project has many agricultural, social and economic backgrounds, starting with training on the use of modern agricultural techniques, and going beyond the personal development of the women.”
She noted that “the Foundation was seeking through this project to highlight the role of women in contributing in moving the economic wheel, and their ability to participate in the process of the balanced and sustainable economic development in Akkar, starting with their families, arriving to the local environment, without having to search for work opportunities that are far or require them to leave the house.”
As for Khabazy, he considered that “the aromatic plant cultivation sector is spread through motherhood and women in general.” He also pointed that “the Safadi Foundation is completing the rural development process, which is an integral part of the development and expansion of various sectors in Lebanon.” He also praised “the Foundation’s role in supporting Akkar countryside, and mobilizing women to pull them from poverty and marginalization, all that in collaboration with the European Union,” hoping that “the Ministry of State for Administrative Reform would be one of the main ministries in the country.”
Hatem considered that “WARED Project is an agricultural, environmental, development and economic project targeting women in the Jurd al-Qaitaa area; through training and helping them grow rare aromatic species.” He then admired “this step, for how important it is in helping women securing livelihoods through sustainability.”
Khattar then hoped “further future cooperation to empower both women and men, under the negative impact of the Syrian emigration, and its pressure on water, electricity, the environment, and the labor market, as well as on the security, the loss of employment and the migration of the Lebanese labor.”
In conclusion, Ghrayeb considered that “the aim of this project, as well as other projects signed with Safadi Foundation, is represented in involving women in the social and economic life from an effective economic perspective, and what this has from impact on her family and surroundings.” Ghrayeb also praised the “cooperation between AFKAR Program and the Foundation,” pointing out that “the Program contributed to the birth of new types of partnerships that transcended the relationship between the public and private sectors, to include the private organizations on one hand and academic institutions on the other.”
It should be mentioned that the WARED Project is implemented over two years, and it includes agricultural training courses, the establishment of aromatic plant production units as well as a center for water and aromatic oils extraction; in order to help 100 beneficiaries from Akkar to increase their income, to enhance their agricultural production behavior, and to support their social participation.