Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FORSA Completes its Project, Celebrates Success

In celebration of the success of its vocational training program, FORSA held a graduation gala at the Tammouz Hall in the Lakkis Building in Baalbeck at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, the 19th of October, 2011.
Attended by FORSA’s trainees and their parents, project manager and coordinators, OTI representative Sarah Sakaheel and other prominent local personalities, the graduation gala denotes the completion of a six month-long process which included workshops on citizenship, tolerance and conflict resolution, in addition to vocational training workshops on topics including painting, building and flagstones.
The Lebanese National Anthem opened the ceremony and was followed by a documentary film depicting an unemployed young man from Baalbeck and how he managed to get a job. While sharing with the audience one of the project’s success stories, the film served as an information tool describing the purpose of FORSA and the latter’s role in aiding young men and women in building their careers and shaping their future.
Ali Raad, the project’s administrative officer, delivered a speech where he emphasized the importance of vocational training in helping youth to obtain job opportunities and become economically independent. Due to the gloomy job prospects and the high level of unskilled labor in the Baalbeck-Hermel region, youth finds itself immersed in less than desirable activities which lead to personal and as a consequence social paybacks of negative nature. To prevent this problem from further escalation, the FORSA project came into being,” Raad asserted. “The FORSA project aims at developing the personal skills of youth, enhancing the concept of work and production and training youth on the careers that comply with the job market” added Raad.
On behalf of the student body of the FORSA project, Yaser Taleb delivered an address thanking FORSA for its generous support of youth in the region and regarding it instrumental in providing them a chance to win job opportunities which would allow them to realize their dreams and ambitions.

At the end of the ceremony, Sarah Sakaheel and Hammoud Shall, the project manager, awarded graduates with program completion certificates in recognition of their academic and vocational achievement.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

LOST Announces the Launch of the “CISCO Certified Network Associate” Program

In the pursuit of a more developed and globally integrated Baalbeck-Hermel region and in an attempt to further the technological prowess of its residents, LOST is announcing the launch of the CISCO Certified Network Associate program (CCNA) at its headquarters in Baalbeck starting November 19th, 2011, at 3:00 pm.
CCNA is an internationally recognized program based on CISCO’s infamous Networking Academy and aims at educating students and professionals alike on ways to design, build, troubleshoot and secure computer networks so as to provide them with increased access to career and economic opportunities in their communities. CISCO is a US-based international corporation specialized in computer networking and technology solutions and ranks among the leading corporations in the United States and around the world. Object Technology CISCO Academy is providing the technical know-how and training for the project.
 The anticipated outcome of the project extends beyond sound technology education for the Baalbeck-Hermel communities to include cultural and economic components. “This is a new opportunity for students and practitioners in the region to get CISCO certificates and good quality education. Also, it helps youth and others to get a job quickly,” emphasized LOST’s Chief Executive Officer professor Rami Lakkis. Beyond education and economics, the project promises to serve among the leading agents in the process of transitioning the culture of the region to a knowledge based one and also to usher in a more equitable future for the generations to come.
To sign up for the program, kindly visit LOST’s corporate offices on the 3rd floor of the Lakkis Building on Ras-el-Ain Avenue anytime between 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, Saturday through Thursday. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

LOST Celebrates the Successful Completion of Summer 2011 Youth Academy, Graduates a New Class of TOEFL Students

A theatrical play, TOEFL graduation ceremony and cocktail party marked LOST’s program for its annual Summer Youth Academy this past Saturday, the 15th of October 2011, in the Ras-el-Ain district in the city of Baalbeck.
Attended by students and their parents, LOST and community members, the “Youth Lead, We Follow” project final ceremony event  denotes the completion of a five month-long process which included four months of training and workshops on the topics of Conflict Resolution, Civic Participation, Citizenship and Peace and Tolerance and a one month of engagement in community projects. Saturday’s program celebrated the conclusion of the summer 2011 project. 
Omar Bay’yan, a member of LOST faculty, commenced the program with a speech welcoming the event participants, emphasizing the importance of the project and discussing the accomplishments of the participants throughout the past five months. “We launched the youth academy project based on the solemn truth that youth in our region are facing enormous challenges in belonging to, proving their presence in and enhancing their participation and presence in decisions which impact their lives,” Bay’yan noted. “Also, they lack the education in cooperation, communication and dialogue which has been compromised by the sectarian extremism, the familial and the religious thereof.” 
At the end of Bay’yan’s address and as part of the project, a group of students participating in the academy performed a theatrical play which delivered the key learning objectives of the project in an easy-to-grasp manner. Humorous yet meaningful, the play emphasized the unequivocally important role that youth plays in civil society and especially on its ability to lead change and embody it in their daily lives.
After the play, Bay’yan commenced LOST’s TOEFL graduation ceremony where he congratulated the TOEFL course participants for their successful completion of the course  and awarded them diplomas in recognition of their achievement.
The Youth Lead, We Follow project is fully funded by Action Aid Denmark, a nonprofit organization which focuses on various areas of development including education, governance and emergencies and conflict and whose scope of operation spans numerous countries across the globe including Lebanon and many other nations in the Middle East region.

The project is a part of Action Aid’s Academy of Active Citizen, a summer program set up for the purpose of civic education and engagement via workshops and training on a variety of issues including tolerance and conflict.
“We support these kinds of projects because we believe in youth and their ability to do social change needed. We believe they are the changing agents,” said Hadia Ghadban, a project coordinator for Action Aid in Lebanon. “The result, to a big extent, has been good. We touched the impact of performing arts through their performance today and the show they presented.”

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Local Advocacy Initiatives in Baalbeck- Hermel

  “Advocacy Initiatives in Baalbeck-Hermel” is the title of the project funded by OTI/USAID and implemented by LOST. This project kicked off in September 2011 and will extend over 10 months.
The major objective of this project is to empower 100 youth from Baalbeck-Hermel with civic education and advocacy tools in addition to social media tools to make them capable of mobilizing their local communities and participating in local advocacy initiatives.
Two main issues-problems are tackled in this project. The first one is conceptual and is related to youth misunderstanding of their role in society. And the second one is more practical and it deals with the poor involvement of youth in real community affairs especially in local municipality services.
The Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training through this project tries to solve these issues by educating youth to become active citizens and helping them to understand their right and crucial role in making things change for the better in their society. Moreover, this project empowers youth with social media tools that can make their opinions more heard. These new acquired skills and techniques will be utilized as part of advocacy initiatives to push youth to handle the problems that they are facing.

The Academy of Youth: A new project supported by OTI/ USAID

 After implementing more than five projects of youth activism, The Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training considers working with youth as a strategic issue to manage any process of social and political change. So that, LOST is going ahead in a new project supported by USAID which is entitled: “The Academy of Youth”. This project aims at training and engaging more than 10 youth clubs from different academic and vocational institutions in public issues. This will be done by training youth on citizenship, conflict resolution, good governance, municipal governance in addition to IT and English sessions. These trainings will be followed by various activities that will be implemented to crystallize the different concepts discussed in training.
Through this project, youth will gain new skills and they will have the chance to use these newly gained skills to participate in the development of their communities.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Launching small community projects by youth in Baalbeck-Hermel

The Academy of Youth- Summer 2011 which is the first joint project between LOST and Action-Aid Denmark launched 4 developmental projects in Baalbeck in the presence of Dr. Ramy Lakkis, the founder of LOST, Mrs. Hadia Ghadban, the representative of Action-Aid Denmark in Lebanon and several social and academic figures in addition to the participants of the Academy. After the Lebanese Anthem, Mr. Hussein Shouman from LOST welcomed the audience and explained the program of the Academy and its objectives. Mr. Shouman’s welcoming note was followed by a speech delivered by the founder of LOST Dr. Ramy Lakkis who stressed on the role of the Academy in promoting local development. “The final stage of the Academy’s program includes the engagement of youth in 4 community projects in order to use their newly gained skills to push for positive change in their communities”. He added. Four youth members of the Academy presented the 4 community projects that will be executed in Baalbeck, Hermel, Ein and Ksarnaba. Hermel and Beit Shama projects are based on protecting the monuments of Brisa and Ksarnaba. These projects include sending letters to the Ministry of Tourism in order to protect the archeological sites in these regions. The project that will be executed in Ein is based on protecting the archeological old houses in this region by communicating with the owners and presenting short films that show the archeological importance of these houses. The Academy’s members in Baalbeck presented their project which is based on the rehabilitation of Al Makased Park in Baalbeck through meetings with the neighborhoods and the municipality of Baalbeck and distributing brochures to raise public awareness to protect public places.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

More than vocational education! Job opportunities

The Lebanese Organization of Studies and Training inaugurated the Electronics and Commercial Arts Center “ECC” in an opening ceremony in Baalbeck in the presence of a large audience of political, academic and social figures.
“More than vocational education! Job opportunities” said Dr. Ramy Lakkis, the founder of LOST. This is the essential feature that distinguishes “ECC” from other vocational institutions. “ECC” provides career guidance and job opportunities to its students in collaboration with Forsa, a local NGO.

“ECC” provides the following technical degrees “BP-BT-TS”, and it offers a wide range of majors such as IT management, nursing, Business administration, management information system, Construction and public works.
Furthermore, “ECC” offers a variety of courses and certificates in Languages (English& French), hairdressing & make-up, first aids, flowers’ arrangement, engineering & architectural drawing, photography, executive secretary, head accountant, computer and general accountant.