"Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all." Ban Ki-Moon, Former Secretary General for the United Nations
Throughout the past few months, we've shared with you our Innovation and Entrepeneurship program evolution. Today, we would like to shed light on some of the youth teams who have already started generating revenue out of their small enterprises, incubated through The Nawaya Network's program.
As always, we would like to thank UNICEF Lebanon and the Kingdom of the Netherlands for making this project possible.
Organic Soap Shop:
Many natural soap factories in Lebanon generate a lot of soap scraps which are disposed of by burying them untreated. This causes the release of several toxic matters into the ground, of which, grease, oils and other compounds which cause heavy pollution. To solve this problem, Mohamad, a young Syrian refugee youth had the idea of collecting these scraps, turning them into beautifully hand-crafted, all-natural soap bars and other decorative items.
Having gone through the incubation phase of our program and with support from our business coaches, Mohamad and his team have now started their small enterprise, "Organic Soap Shop" by taking customer orders for baby shower, corporate and other gift ideas. They have also launched their Facebook business page, through which they showcase their products. Mohamad and his team are still receiving specialized training in social media marketing with a specialized mentor which The Nawaya Network has helped connect them with.
Hussein Turaani Photography:
Hussein lives in the Burj Al Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut, a camp which suffers from a wide set of problems including dire living conditions, a highly politicized environment, arrested youth development, proliferation of drugs and weapons, limited job opportunities and many more.
When we first interviewed Hussein during the training last year, he was reluctant to trust in non-profits. He spoke to us about his personal experiences working with other non-profits, the dedication and effort he had put into creating a film, which then was shown at several festivals with no mention or compensation for Hussein or his team.
After working intensively with our business coach through the incubation phase, and with seed-funding, Nawaya was able to purchase crucial photography equipment and materials for Hussein, which enabled him to finally market his skills and his services to potential clients.
As a result, Hussein has gone from being unemployed and hopeless to having a full-time job as a photographer at an NGO which earns him 650$ monthly, as well as having two other independent clients which earn him 200$ per month each, an amount which many other refugees could only dream of having in the community he lives in, and which has allowed him to live much more securely and comfortably.
Full of hope, Hussein says that our program restored his faith, motivation, and enthusiasm. With a renewed sense of purpose, he works harder than ever now. You can view his work and contact him through his Facebook page.
Our "Baytouti" team have started selling their cakes and snacks to children at the Tahaddi School in their community! Rawan and her sister, who both live in the area, want to promote clean and healthy snacking among children by adapting sugar laden snack recipes to healthier, cleaner and more nutritious ones.
Following their training with us, this sister team moved on to receive a Food Hygiene certification from GWR Consulting, a leader in quality control and training in the region. They both still attend school and have successfully launched their small business earning an average of $20 per day in sales! This is significant as they live in one of the poorest communities in Beirut, so this income will be extremely valuable for their families, and has helped make them feel much more empowered!
Mfak Braghi's 24/7 on-demand maintenance service, is now fully operational! Reach out to them for any repair needs, day or night, and let us know what you think!
Following the pilot phase of the Nawaya Impact Lab training program in 2016 in various locations across Beirut last year, the Nawaya Network team regrouped at the beginning of 2017 to analyze our training impact and put together an even more comprehensive and impactful program in 2017.
While our program in 2016 saw 650 marginalized youth from different nationalities graduate and provided seed funding for more than 14 youth team projects, we realized that the majority of the youth participating in our training had difficulties transitioning from the training room to starting a small business or a social enterprise due to a number of key factors.
To address this issue while keeping the human element at the center of our training, as well as growing our reach, we’ve developed a unified Design Thinking and Business Development curriculum and have now added a crucial six week incubation period to the program.
Our youth now get access to professional, focused, business coaching to guide them through the piloting phase.
With the April round now completed in six locations across Beirut, Mount Lebanon & the South, we will be rolling out new sessions monthly. Our aim is to reach 2,400 marginalized Lebanese and refugee youth and fund 300 youth led projects by the beginning of 2018.
Here are a few images of some of our youth on graduation day earlier this month!
Last but not least, we would like to thank UNICEF Lebanon for their continued support as well as The Kingdom of the Netherlands for funding this year’s program.
Another milestone we would like to share with you, is the life changing impact our coding bootcamp SE Factory is yielding! Now in its third edition, previously unemployed SE Factory graduates have received 3 job offers each in less than two weeks post graduation!
As the new year begins, we're all busy making plans and so are our youth!
We piloted the Nawaya Impact Lab in July 2016 over a period of seven months, in seven marginalized locations across Beirut, reaching hundreds of youth. Our youth undoubtedly face a number of limitations and challenges on a daily basis.
Despite these limitations, we were inspired by their determination as we came across a treasure trove of innovative and creative project ideas proposed by youth.
Here are some of our youth small enterprise and community project ideas from our 2016 training round:
Mfak Baraghi is a small enterprise which provides a team of experienced workers for fast and reliable maintenance and refurbishment services. The services include: electrical wiring, plumbing, painting, AC and tiling services.The business will provide these services to homes and offices 24 hours daily, 7 days a week. Click here to view the project video!
Baytouti is a project created by two young sisters, one of whom is passionate about baking and healthy nutrition while the other is passionate about business. The aim of this project is to put an end to unhealthy snacking among kids on the outskirts of the Shatila refugee camp area by providing clean, homemade and healthy snacks for children! Click here to learn more!
Green and Peace is a welcoming and safe environment for girls whose parents do not allow to participate in outdoors or public sports activities. This project idea is to gather marginalized girls and women in group workout sessions in Horsh Beirut for them to alleviate their feelings of limitation. Watch the video here!
With the influx of Syrian refugees to Lebanon, an increasing number of people are looking for new homes to move into. Beit Now is a digital platform which connects landlords to tenants and facilitates the search for a new home based on each tenant's budget and requirements. Learn more!
Check out our platform on www.nawaya.org to explore a number of other exciting youth-led initiatives. We look forward to sharing their progress with you in the coming months!
Our target for 2017 is to reach 2,500 youth in Beirut, Mount Lebanon & the South through the Nawaya Impact Lab and our coding bootcamp SE Factory!