Monday, December 19, 2011

Lebanese Military’s Commander-in-Chief Honors LOST

The Commander-in-Chief of the Lebanese Military Jean Qahwaji commended LOST for its “noble national sentiments,” cooperation with the institutions and personnel of the Military and initiative on the Independence Day of Lebanon in 2011 involving the Lebanese Army orphans.

LOST organized an Independence Day celebration event in November of 2011 honoring the nation’s heroes and thanking them for their selfless dedication to Lebanon’s security and independence. The event was attended by the families and orphans of the Lebanese Army martyrs and also representatives of the Military and included an opening ceremony, entertainment, gifts and food.

Recognizing the significance of the Military in preserving the nation’s Democratic institutions and its civil society, LOST involves the Lebanese Armed Forces in most of its programming and never fails to appreciate their contributions to and service and sacrifice for the people of Lebanon in general and the people of the Baalbeck Hermel Region in particular.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Developing Generation Y’s Civic Intelligence-Shaping the Nation’s Democracy One Youth at a Time

In line with its purpose, the seventh annual Academy of Youth at LOST launched the Universal Declaration of Human Rights exhibition at ten secondary schools across the Baalbeck Hermel Region as it executes the second month of its program.

Over 150 youngsters from ten schools in the communities of Baalbeck, Hermel, Ain and Shmustar are participating in the exhibition which is set up to acquaint local students with their rights as citizens of the global community, and which—thanks to the leadership of the United Nations organization—have become inborn rights for all. The exhibition includes poster-displays, theatrical plays and roll-upsset up at the participating schools and all of which emphasized the thirty articles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Academy of Youth at LOST is an annual project designed to educate youths about public life with special emphasis on democracy and democratic governance. It trains them on the use of technical tools essential for a pro-active approach to civic participation where they learn about information technology, social media and English language tools and goes further to engage them in projects offering practical experience implementing the material they learn in the classroom.

In the Academy, Youths complete a comprehensive curriculum with four components. The Civics-Training component educates Academy participants about civics and democracy and trains them on the use of technical skills to implement projects of civic nature while the Activity component engages them in civic projects in their respective communities. The Events component promotes the Academy and its works to the various communities in the region in an effort to attract more youths to future academies at LOST. Finally, the Media component involves youths in public relations and media campaigns to provide them with practical experience voicing their concerns and opinions to the public at large and to public figures at the local, regional and national levels.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yes She Can: LOST Educates Women About Their Rights and Opportunities in Public Life, Empowers Them Politically

 As a second stage in the Women’s Political Empowerment (WPE) project funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon, LOST commenced the program with training sessions on the topics of Human Rights and Women’s Rights in six sub-regions in Lebanon including Baalbeck, Akkar, Ain, Beit Shema, Hermel and Ersal, thereby embarking on a five-month long mission to empower women in the marginalized communities of Lebanon politically and ushering in a brighter and more democratic society for them and their country.
Scheduled for two sessions per week with each session lasting approximately two hours, WPE includes a theoretical component and a practical one. The former covers several topics on civics including citizenship, human rights and women’s rights, advocacy and civic participation, and also information technology, social media and English language. The latter involves participants in a community project allowing them to partake in the policy-making process in their respective communities under the guidance of LOST.
In the Baalbeck branch of LOST, twenty six women are attending the training sessions; close to 50% of them joined WPE after graduating from the Women’s Economic Empowerment Project also run by LOST. In a partnership with Jusur organization LOST is managing WPE in Ersal while in Akkar LOST has partnered with the municipality of Tall-Abbass to manage it. Jusur and the municipality provide logistical and human capital support for LOST who in turn is providing leadership, expertise and funding for the implementation of WPE therein.
WPE aims at improving the lives of women in the marginalized communities of Lebanon by empowering women politically so they are active participants in the policy-making process of their communities and country. Also, it aims at strengthening the institution of women’s leadership in public life by educating women about their rights and opportunities in the public domain, involving them in projects which allow them to influence the policy-making process in their community, and offering them guidance on their endeavors in public life at any point in the future.
WPE is funded by the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands via its diplomatic representation in the capital city of Lebanon Beirut and is scheduled to last until April of 2012.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Local Youths Learn to Instill Change in Their Community and to Participate in the Making of Their Region’s History

LOST concluded the first month of the execution stage of its “Advocacy Civic Initiatives in Baalbeck-Hermel” project, with training sessions on the theme of “Citizenship and Civic Participation” to youths at its four locations in Baalbeck, Beit Shema, Ein and Hermel.
The initiative commenced in September of this year when LOST conducted preliminary preparations for the project selecting and training its personnel, developing and executing a marketing campaign and designing a research plan related to the issue of public access to government data. In October LOST continued its preparation for the project and in this regard recruited 80 youths from various communities in the Baalbeck-Hermel Region to participate in the initiatives and completed a training guide to be used by trainers in their work. In addition, training of trainers sessions continued and a project launch ceremony was held to announce the project to the local communities of the region.
In November, the first training session of youths was held and like subsequent sessions it focused on the topic of citizenship and civic participation. Upcoming sessions will focus on various topics within the Civics domain including sessions on Good Governance and Civic Advocacy. Also, community service activities where participants gain a first-hand look at advocacy campaign execution in communities other than their own will be organized via field trips to different provinces around Lebanon.
The “Advocacy Civic Initiatives in Baalbeck-Hermel” is a LOST project aimed at developing the capacity of youth to advocate causes they care about in their local and national legislatures so as to fully reflect their will in the making of their future. Funded by the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the project is scheduled to end in July of 2012.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

LOST “Takes It To The Street,” Recruits 1,000 Local Youth To Participate in BLOM’s 9th Annual Beirut Marathon 2011

As part of its Youth Academy curriculum and in an effort to contribute to the civic engagement of youth in the Baalbeck-Hermel region, LOST recruited over 1,000 local youth to participate in BLOM Bank’s 9th annual Beirut Marathon held in Beirut under the auspices of the Minister of Youth and Sports of Lebanon Faisal Karame.

In association with BLOM Bank and under the slogan “Take It To The Street,” the Beirut Marathon Association (BMI) organized the 9th annual BLOM Beirut Marathon 2011 in Beirut with the purpose of contributing to the making of the national unity of Lebanon and in creating an opportunity for the people of Lebanon and other regions as well to engage in sports. Attended by over 31,000 participants from Lebanon and other countries, the Marathon included eight races as follows: 42.195 K, 42.195 K—Wheelchairs, Relay 42.195 K, 10 K Fun Run, 10,000 Meter Run, 10,000 Meter Run—Wheelchairs, 5 K Youth Run, 1 K Run-with-Mom.

LOST, as part of the Academy of Youth curriculum, recruited over 1,000 youth from the Baalbeck-Hermel region to participate in BLOM Beirut Marathon 2011. LOST’s contribution to the Marathon went beyond recruitment to include provision of T-Shirts and food to local participants, management of logistics and marketing efforts in the region so as to publicize the event and spark youth’s interest in the activity.

Hussein Yazbeck, the Director of the Beit-Shema branch of LOST, served as the coordinator of LOST’s efforts in the Marathon. According to Yazbeck, LOST’s aim behind the project is “to ingrain in youth the feeling that they are citizens of Lebanon and have a right to participate in all activities at the national level based on the principle of equality of citizens, as well as position the Baalbeck-Hermel region on the Sports agenda of Lebanon via efforts to project a civilized view of the reality of the Lebanese progressive youth who are in need of new horizons and challenges. Also, it is the aim of LOST to unite the Lebanese youth to keep the spirit of charity and of affiliation, which characterize Lebanon so much, thriving.”

For information on BLOM Beirut Marathon 2011 official results, visit BMA’s web site at http://