Ceremony of distribution certificates to the trainees in community mobilization and Economic Empowerment of vulnerable women project
With the support of the Japanese Government
UN Women and the Ministry of Social Affairs
Graduate 300 women trained in a number of crafts
In order to empower them economically and to protect them from exploitation
With the end of the first phase of the “Economic Empowerment of Breadwinner Women and Young Women in Lebanese Host Communities” Project, which is supported by the Japanese Government, in cooperation between the Ministry of Social Affairs and the UN Women, certificates were distributed to 300 women among the first group of 780 trainees. The ceremony was attended by the Japanese Chargé d’Affaires in Lebanon Mr. Kiyosaki Yamanaka, the Regional Director of the UN Women Dr. Muhammed al-Nasiri and a representative of Beirut Municipality Mrs. Yussra Saydani Balaa. The Coordinator of the Ministry of Social Affairs Mrs. Souheir al-Ghali, the Director of the Development Services Center on the AL-Jadida road Sanaa al-Kurdy, the Director of Safadi Foundation Mrs. Rana Mawlawi, the President of Fair Trade Lebanon Mr. Samir Abdelmalak, the Director of Jamil Rawass High School Mr. Mazen Tawil also attended the ceremony, along with a number of directors of public and private schools, as well as officials from several NGOs and Scout and Voluntary Associations.
After the National Anthem performed by the choir of Jamil Rawass High School, led by Saad Shamaa, and the welcoming speech of Mrs. Lina al-Ferkh from the Ministry of Social Affairs, al-Kurdy described the project as “a development training program, for what it included from training on various crafts and industries in order to raise both the social and economic levels of women.” She praised the “cooperation of the official and civil sectors with the international organizations, in implementing social programs based on the sustainable human development principles in host communities affected by the Syrian crisis.”
A documentary, showing the stages through which the trainees went during the past few months, was shown, before al-Ghali affirmed that “the project was part of the Ministry of Social Affairs plan to respond to the Syrian Crisis, in cooperation with UN Women and the local partners in the framework of community service.” She noted that “sharing and participation are the prerequisites to the success of any initiative in development work.” Al-Ghali also stressed that “the first step towards freedom is knowledge, as this project is a positive and necessary initiative to help, by providing young women with self-reliance skills.”
As for al-Nasiri, he considered that “the project paid particular attention to the youth, boys and girls, in order to increase their participation in local development process of their communities, and to promote the concept of gender equality.” He added that “about 250 young men and women were trained on issues related to fighting all kinds of violence against women, and raising their awareness regarding this matter.” He stressed on “the need to share responsibility for addressing the issue of gender equality in order to create a safe environment for women.”
In his speech, which was delivered by Mrs. Sara Hourani, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Lebanon affirmed that his “country will continue to support the most vulnerable individuals and communities to achieve positive results, as those achieved by the Economic Empowerment Program for Women, not only in Lebanon but in all host communities. That program enhanced the capabilities of 3.470 women, 120 of whom are launching their own projects from their homes.”
The ceremony, which began with a tour for the delegation to the Development Services Center, in AL-Jadida road, in order to check the training activities, was concluded with a folkloric dance and a cocktail party held for the occasion.
It should be noted that during the first phase of the project, which was launched in April 2016 by ABAAD Organization, Safadi Foundation, Fair Trade Lebanon and the Lebanese Red Cross, more than 780 Lebanese women and Syrian refugees were trained in 8 specialized crafts, in addition to establishing a women’s cooperative for agricultural manufacturing in Khirbet al-Gindy in Akkar. The project aims at supporting breadwinner women in the Lebanese host communities, and economically empowering them through providing them with professional and managerial skills that enable them to support themselves. As the economic empowerment for women contributes to strengthen their protection from exploitation and violence, and enables them to contribute to the development of their community.