Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Academy of Active Citizens: A New Partnership Between LOST and ActionAid Denmark in Bekaa

The 20th of April was a day for celebration as the Lebanese Organization of Studies and Training (LOST) and Action-Aid Denmark signed the agreement of their first joint project: the Academy of Active Citizens. This project will be the corner stone of a long future partnership between the two organizations.
The Academy fits perfectly into both partners approach of building the capacity of young men and women and encouraging them to engage in projects that they will have a positive social impact in their communities. The project started in mid May and will be implemented through LOST’s centers in Baalbeck, Ein, Beit Shama and Hermel.
The project consists of two main components. First, the youth will participate in several workshops and trainings on citizenship, civic participation and conflict resolution. Through a theater course and various exchange of drawing activities the youth will gain skills to counter the negative impact of sectarian lines.
After participation in the civic education and peacebuilding program, the youth will engage in 4 different community projects, based on what they feel relevant. This way they will have a chance to use their newly gained skills to push for positive change in their communities.

Monday, May 23, 2011

“Run for Lebanon”: the Biggest Youth Race in Baalbeck

As part of the “Academy of Youth and Municipal Work” program, LOST organized a youth race on May 13, 2011 in Baalbeck, the City of the Sun with remarkable presence of political, social and academic figures.
More than 1700 students from almost every high school in Baalbeck-Hermel participated in this event in addition to runners from the Lebanese Army, ISF, and several sports clubs.

 The race was a new breaking record in term of participation, and it was creative and civic oriented in the banners and slogans raised; “balanced development”, “the respect of human rights” and “living together” were the slogans lifted by the participants. The race kicked off at 8 am from the Maronite National School and ended at Ras El Ein Street. 

Young runners were competing in a joyful environment; music was filling the air in Ras El Ein, the biggest green Park in Baalbeck. “If we run for Lebanon we are all winners” said a young girl participating in the race.
After hours of singing and dancing with the singer Rony Kasar and Hayakel Baalbeck group, Dr. Ali Abdallah, the Minister of Youth and Dr. Rami Lakkis, the founder of LOST offered medals and cups to the winners.

The winners are:

Intermediate Cycle:

  • Males:
  1. Ali Naser El Din
  2. Hussein Ayoub
  3. Ahmad Chabchoul
  • Females:
  1. Aline Mahdi
  2. Ayda Jaafar
  3. Lara Zein
Secondary Cycle:
  • Males:
  1. Ali Makhour
  2. Yousef Raad
  3. Mohammad Houry
  • Females:
  1. Hala Zaiter
  2. Batoul Sleiman
  3. Hala Faytarouni
Free runners:
  1. Hanna Abu Farhat “ISF”
  2. Ali Yazbeck “veteran runners”
  3. Bilal Bayan “Lebanese customs”
Above eighteen:
  1.  Hoda Raad
  2. Joumana Alame

Monday, May 16, 2011

Zahi Wehbe in Baalbeck

 The Academy of Youth & Municipal Work at LOST organized a poetry evening for the Lebanese poet and writer Zahi Wehbe at LYN in Baalbeck. Several social, political and academic figures attended the event with massive participation of youth and their parents.
After the Lebanese Anthem, Mr. Omar Bayyan from LOST welcomed the audience and explained the role of the Academy in developing youth skills and talents and giving them better opportunities to meet famous people in Lebanon.
In his turn, the Lebanese poet and writer Mr. Zahi Wehbe presented a package of his featured poems, patriotic and love poems. Mr. Wehbe thanked LOST for her nice gesture and expressed his happiness for being in Baalbeck.

Moreover, Abbas Asaad, a youth member of the Academy of Youth and Municipal Work talked about the importance of this academy in strengthening the social bonds among youth. “The Academy of Youth and Municipal Work has a special flavor. It helps us accept friends from other sects and makes us understand positively the confessional diversity of our country,” said Abbas.
At the end, Dr. Ramy Lakkis, the founder of LOST handed an honoring shield to the Lebanese poet Mr. Zahi Wehbe.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Budget Advocacy with MARC

During the month of April, The Middle East Advocacy and Research Center (MARC) in collaboration with the Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training (LOST), conducted three focus group sessions related to budget advocacy in the Northern Bekaa region. The sessions were held at LOST’s offices in Baalbak, Al Ayn and Bait-Shaama and the participants from each focus group shared with MARC representatives a detailed account of the socio-economic situation in their respective region. After discussing of the issues that currently face the region, the concept of budget advocacy was introduced and discussed with the participants. The sessions were interactive as well as frank when giving an assessment of the obstacles that currently face the region. The participants expressed their interest in future collaboration and the MARC team felt that the representatives of LOST provided a strong foundation for effective budget advocacy in the region.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

International donors met local NGOs in Baalbeck

The Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training organized a general meeting titled “The strategies of international donors in Lebanon” at the center of the Lebanese Youth Network (LYN) in Baalbeck. Representatives from more than 52 NGOs, 14 municipalities from Baalbeck-Hermel region and 5 international donors attended the meeting.
After the Lebanese Anthem, Mr. Salah Zayter from LOST welcomed the audience and insisted on the importance of such activity in empowering local NGOs to become active agents and institutions in order to encourage positive changes in the region. Mr. Zayter’s welcoming note was followed by a speech delivered by Dr. Ramy Lakkis, the founder of LOST who stressed on the role of civil society organizations in promoting local development. He added that such meeting acts as a framework for international donors and local NGOs to communicate and interact. It helps NGOs to cooperate with international donors to implement new developmental projects at grass-root levels.
Throughout the meeting, representatives from UNDP, OTI Lebanon, ActionAid, Mercycorps and FAO  explained their objectives, scope and schemes of funding and procedures and informed NGOs about different grants available in Lebanon that could be of a special interest to the region of Baalbeck-Hermel.There were two Q/A round table breaks in which representatives from international and local organizations communicated directly.

At the end, discussion focused on the possibility to establish an office for supporting NGOs in the region to achieve the following goals:
  • Training NGOs on different managerial and technical skills.
  • Communicating with international donors.
  • Helping NGOs to write project proposals.
LOST organized such activity in order to help t civil society organizations to benefit from different programs managed by the various international donors acting in Lebanon.