Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Advocacy for All

The Lebanese Organization of Studies and Training (LOST) has been recognized as Lebanon's Country Focal Point for the Sphere Project on September 28th 2015. The Sphere Project functions as a board composed of activists from worldwide humanitarian agencies and organizations that follow virtuous guidelines and honor basic human rights. LOST was chosen by the Sphere Project for having similar principles and working towards improving the lives of people in need in order for them to live in respect and dignity.
As a country focal point LOST will introduce Sphere to government ministries to follow sphere support in context of disaster management and civil protection. LOST will also act as a point of contact, answer questions and train people and organizations using the Sphere Handbook among other tasks.
LOST has several training of trainer sessions in the near future to capacitate the LOST team and affiliates with Sphere guidelines and tools in dealing with humanitarian issues. LOST also has a schedule to train INGO local employees on humanitarian response, relief, and recovery as well as protecting the needs of people.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

We Are for Each Other: LOST Acts as Middle Man to Help the Vulnerable

The Lebanese Organization of Studies and Trainings officially launched their "Nehna La Ba3d"(We Are for Each Other) Initiative Monday September 21st 2015 with a cake cutting ceremony with staff and partners involved in this charity project.
Bags have been distributed along with flyers and LOST has received bags with fall and winter clothing from staff and friends. LOST will collect the bags on Thursday October the 1st and Friday October 2nd, 2015.
This project funded and managed by LOST aims to relieve vulnerable Lebanese families by distributing second-hand gently used clothing. LOST is providing bags and picking up donations from businesses and households. In Arabic there is a proverb, "Give and God will give back", and giving a family in need clothing that would otherwise go in the trash is a Robin Hood moment.

Turning our Negatives to Positives: It's a win-win for Women and Men

In part to raise awareness about women's social security rights in the workforce, the Lebanese Organization of Studies and Trainings (LOST) along with twelve other organizations teamed up with Search for Common Ground (SFCG) in their project "Hakkik Daman Ayltek" or "Your right to Guarantee Your Family".
Spokespersons for the project from SFCG and partner organization ALEF filled LOST staff in on the employment laws in Lebanon and what is not being honored. "Hakkik Damanik" aims to empower women socially and economically by building the capacity of organizations to launch joint advocacy campaigns for men and women to have equal rights.
LOST, through media awareness campaigns and through present and future projects, like STEP which aims to empower women through civil law supports SFGCs vision. When women's rights are honored and implemented, equality is created between the ratios of working women to working men. Women aged 15 to 24 make up 22.8 percent of the working population according to the Lebanon Knowledge Development Gateway. The percentage decreases as the age increase; working mothers are unable to guarantee their husband or children and until 2013 didn’t have the right to maternity leave for up to 10 weeks.
By contributing to increasing women's economic participation in the private sector, as a country we will be able to stimulate economic development.

Friday, September 18, 2015

If it Looks Good, then it Tastes Good: LOST initiating a Better Baalbek

Tuesday and Wednesday September 15 and 16 bakers and butchers with shops in the Baalbek district gathered at LOST headquarters to get their measurements taken for uniform aprons as part as the Baalbek Ahla Project- "Better Baalbek".
LOST launched this initiative after talking details to the Mayor of Baalbek Doctor Hamd Hassan on August 27th of 2015 and collecting a list of all the bakery's and meat shops in the city of Baalbek.
As incentive for the participation of the bakers and butchers in the Baalbek Ahla project, LOST is offering their sons and daughters a scholarship to enroll in classes in the ECC managed by LOST.
This initiative managed and funded by The Lebanese Organization of Studies and Trainings aims at increasing tourism rates in the area. LOST has a vision to enhance the image of Baalbek; this area in Lebanon is rich with history and has a high potential to flourish like other areas in Lebanon, with the right tools. To increase tourism LOST will train restaurant waiters on dialogue and serving etiquette, as well as pass out aprons, gloves and cutting boards to butchers and bakers.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Congratulations to Our Future Leaders!

Under the Auspices of the Governor of the Baalbek-Hermel area, Bashir Khodr, Monday September 7th, 2015 students from the Electronic and Commercial Arts Center, managed by The Lebanese Organization of Studies and Trainings, graduate with certificates to show for their hard work. The summer graduates took courses cosmetology.
Founder of LOST, Ramy Lakkis said, "It is an honor for both us as an organization and you as a student to have made it to this day."
Lakkis continued, "Studying and participating in extracurricular activities isn’t done just for the pleasure of having a degree, it's for us to become better Samarians and activists in our community."
LOST offers programs to help in income generation and to open opportunities that were not there before. This year for the first time LOST offered courses in CISCO network technology. CISCO course educates students on networking and computer and career skills for entry level IT jobs. Students graduating with CISCO IT Training will receive a certificate recognized internationally.

A Divided Area Will Hopefully Merge with Future Youth-Led Initiatives

The Lebanese Organization of Studies and Trainings, representatives from OTI/USAID, municipality mayors from Ersal, Fakiha, Labwe and Ras Baalbek, key stake holders and the youth participants gathered in the LOST center of Ein for the final event of the OTI/USAID and LOST project "A Youth Led Social Cohesion Initiative in Northern Bekaa" on Thursday, September 10th,2015.

LOST enabled he groups of youth from each village to take initiative in implementing projects to help soothe tensions between the surrounding communities. A video was shown showing the small youth led community projects and the reaction of the village residents. After the video two youth participants from each town came up to the stage to share with the audience their experience in the project.

Through the trainings and merge activities LOST provided for the youth, the youth felt a change in perspective and sense of leadership to make Northern Bekaa a peaceful area without the harsh sectarian divide.

LOST through this project tackled a major problem of social unrest in the Bekaa and aimed to make peace between tribal communities and stop sectarian feuds between Ersal and the neighboring villages.


Monday, September 7, 2015

In Positivity and Laughter: LOST Opens the Playground Doors In Chaat

Thursday September 3rd, LOST representatives visited the municipality of Chaat where more than 70 Syrian and Lebanese kids and their families gathered to celebrate the opening of their new playground.
The playground features new swings, slides, seesaws and more for the children to play together and interact with each other, in order to ease tensions and promote peace between the Syrian Refugees and Lebanese host community.
This playground was installed in the municipality as a small community project part of LOST and UNICEF’s campaign “Youth-Led Initiatives” that aims in encouraging youth from both communities in non-violent encounters. LOST helped in creating an independent space free of disharmony and negativity. Playing together and having the mothers and fathers at the playground with the children increases positive interactions between families and children.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Two Teams, One Soul: Syrian Refugees and Lebanese Youth Play Ball!

The Lebanese Organization of Studies and Trainings rejoiced in the opening ceremony for a soccer court in Britel, a small community project under the “Youth-Led Initiatives” project funded by UNICEF took place last Friday, August 28th, 2015.
This ceremony gathered more than 100 excited Britel residents from all ages. The youth and adults were loud and chatty, all wearing soccer uniforms and ready to start playing in the court.
As result of the youth Summer Camps, forty Syrian and Lebanese adolescents worked together to create a space for outdoor activities will help build bonds and ease tensions between the two communities.
Mayor of Britel Haj Abbass Ismail said, “ Even if we play as two teams and are from two separate countries, in the end we are one.”
The youthful spirit filled the municipality and the older men started horse playing and one man, Abbass Tlais, 26-year-old Britel resident said, “This is an amazing opportunity that LOST has done for the kids and grown-ups in this village. There should always be a place for the youth to get out of the house and use their energy in interaction; it is better than them sitting on their phones all day.”
LOST wants what the townspeople want, peace and safety in their village and every village. There isn’t anything like sport in forming a foundation of trust between teammates and teams.

The Lebanese Organization of Studies and Training share plans for the “Nehna la Ba3d” Project with the governor of Baalbek-Hermel Region

Governor of the Baalbek-Hermel region, Bashir Khodr attended a meeting with founder and president of LOST, Dr. Rami Lakkis, regarding the draft campaign of "Nehna la Ba3d”, which translates to “We are for Each Other”. This campaign will be launched under the auspices of Khodr and in collaboration with the people of Bekaa.
Khodr initiated the meeting, praising LOST’s role in serving the community. Khodr said, "I'll be part of this project, that reflects the cohesion of the community, and calls for cooperation of public interest, and flourishes in the spirit humanitarian and noble values, I am at your side supporting the projects that are beneficial to the people of the region."
Dr. Rami Lakkis said: "We share the same concerns of the region, and through our experience for over a year together, we have seen that you [Khodr] care about Baalbek and the loyal people of Baalbek, and we in the Organization are in the process of launching a campaign “Nehna la Ba3d", next week. The campaign aims to help the most needy families in Baalbek, through the distribution of winter clothing for two months, after the clothes have been collected cleaned, organized, packaged and distributed of course. The purpose of the project is to encourage the communication between the different classes of Baalbek society, urge them feel in social solidarity, to help those in need, and launch initiatives that serve the community and develop a spirit of cooperation and participation.”
Campaign coordinator Omar Bayan explained the mechanism of action; the campaign is divided into two stages, the first stage begins in September and ends this October next late, while the second phase starts in April 2016 and ends in late May.
Bayan said, "A team from LOST will distribute printed bags with the “Nehna la Ba3d” logo to the affluent families who wish to make a donation. The deadline to pick up the donation will be within three days of receiving the bag. The team will deliver the donated clothing to be clean and sorted by sex, age and size. Finally a sheet of paper with the sizes and an appointment will be distributed to the needy families. The families will come to the warehouse and choose the appropriate clothing for the children, the families who can not attend for any reasons will have the clothing delivered from the team to their homes.”