Friday, November 27, 2015

LOST aids 80 women per month to become Self-Reliant

 The Lebanese Organization of Studies and Trainings and MCC have been working together on the project "Supporting Women Refugees in Baalbek-Hermel". In August 2015 LOST started the recruitment process and Training the trainers in life skills, reproductive health, family planning, Civic Education and Law, and trauma healing thus giving them the information they need to pass along to the fellow women participants. After the trainers attended workshops on various topics they recruited 20 participants from the four LOST branches, Baalbek, Ein, Hermel and Bednayel. Each trainer is responsible in making sure that at least 80% of the participants are Syrian women and the remaining should be Lebanese. In one month the participants complete four training sessions and receive their dignity kit; dignity kits are basically like goodie bags to promote cleanliness and femininity for the women participants as well as respond to their basic needs.

Every month 80 new ladies (20 from each branch) are recruited to take these trainings and build their capacities in society. The women have appreciated the trainings and attain useful information from them. They feel self-reliant and have made small changes in their lifestyles to have a better, safer, more dignified way of life. So far LOST has trained and distributed dignity kits to a total of 240 women.
Through the trauma healing sessions, LOST is helping vulnerable Syrian women feel more at home in a country that isn’t their own and hear their concerns. Giving them a platform to share their feelings helps the women feel relieved and puts them in a positive mood that affects the household and this cycle affects the psychology of the children to be peaceful.

Friday, November 13, 2015

LOST launches Youth Forum so Raise your Voice; Someone is Listening

The Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training launched the opening ceremony for the new project "Youth Forum: Amplifying the Voice of Youth in Northern   Bekaa" in association with OTI/USAID in Tamooz Hall in the presence of Bashir Chord, governor of Baalbek-Hermel on Tuesday November 10th, 2015.
The seats in Tamooz Hall filled with 120 participants from all eight villages, field officers, trainers, and special guests like Colonel Mohammed Nasser, Father Paul Keyrouz, and municipality officials. These young men and women will participate in a set of trainings to build their capacities in leadership, communication, issue identification/analysis, conflict transformation and resolution. After they have been conditioned to be original thinkers, the youth will come up with eight different projects after a series of surveys with the people to solve a specific problem in their individual communities.

Founder of LOST, Ramy Lakkis, said, "the project is vital and useful for youth from Hermel, Ersal, Fakiha, Ein, Labwe, Baalbek and Deir el Ahmar to interact with each other positively. The project aims to develop the capacity of young people and enhance their leadership roles in the community as well to improve relations with each other."
After the training workshops the youth will attend a general conference to convert the problems and needs into small community projects, and through the projects communication between the regions channels will be enhanced. By seeing that every village has similar problems and by setting aside differences, individual voices will become a voice in unison to interact with the surrounding environment and homeland.
Governor Khodr came up to the podium saying he isn’t a stranger to the LOST's project and that he is delighted when [he] sees young people attached to their land and their community, and taking part enthusiastically in  workshops to work on developing their knowledge abilities and potential, and [he] sees in a bright future for them. He continued his motivational speech by saying that among this group of 120 there are the leaders who will take action in public affairs and political offices and influence the region.
He quoted Pope John Paul II on how important development is to reach peace and continued asking for all to join together in the advancement of Baalbek-Hermel,
Khodr said "there is no development without security and stability. Security is considered a priority for development, it is not the responsibility of the security forces, but is also your responsibility, and the responsibility of everyone in society."
He concluded saying: "I started from among you, and I'm one of you, so we together enhance our country."

LOST through this project aims to plant the seed of development and inspiration in Lebanon's' youth for the country and the country's' people to flourish and live in dignity.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Women Participating in Political Processes at LOST

October 29th 2015, an opening ceremony for a project funded by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung(KAS) was held under the auspices of the Governor of Baalbek-Hermel, Bashir Khodr, at the Lebanese Organization of Studies and Trainings(LOST). More than 100 participants in the "Promoting Women's Role in Political Participation in Baalbek" project attended along with Administrative Director of the project from KAS, Hana Nasser as well Mufti Sheikh, Khaled Soleh, and Elias Rahal, Pastor of the Greek Melkite Catholic Archbishop to support the launch of such an important initiative.

This project aims at fostering social change and by empowering 80 women in Baalbek-Hermel Region to participate in the decision making process at the local level and institutionalize their political inclusion. It also gives an opportunity for silent and passive women to become more proactively involved in the local decision-making processes. These 80 women will take training workshops, for the length of the project of two months; including familiarizing themselves with their rights as Lebanese citizens. By expanding their knowledge and acquiring useful skills through the trainings the local participation of women in the municipal elections will increase.
Governor Khodr said, "Why are women absent [from political participation] nowadays? While the making of Constitution and the law of the Lebanese people women were there with the right to equality and to participate in nomination and election before by many Western countries, like the United States, Britain and others. Then the excuses in society and in the mentality of the country about women's participation [are wrong] , the basic responsibility for women is to participate and those who are reluctant to participate in public affairs are giving up their rights."
KSI Project Director Nasser said, "The most important factor that helps women to play their role to the fullest is they constitute half of the society, they are our educators and the media makers and that contributes to raising awareness, and women themselves are responsible for the progress of society, they must change the way they see themselves before they can change the way the world sees them."

Nasser stressed that the "Lebanese women are pioneers in their field of influence, but fail to participate in the political sphere."

President of LOST, Ramy Lakkis said, " "History bears witness to the struggle of women in various places in the world and their suffrage movements to have equal rights and  here we have our society which recognizes women's participation in public work and our women don't exercise that right. And the importance of participation is it promotes a democratic culture."

LOST believes in building the capacity of women in society to enhance the present predicament of Lebanon. Social change is important to better the community and ensures that each person lives in dignity and safety.