As the year comes to an end, we look back at 2013 and are so grateful for the wonderful year it has been for us. Here's a quick look back at our achievements:
We kicked off our year with an event in Dubai whereby we raised awareness about our cause and gathered support for our work. We spent the next couple of months finalizing our online platform, and celebrated its launch at Movenpick Hotel and Resort in May 2013. Click here for the demo video!
May 2013 was a special month for another reason too: Our founder, Zeina Saab, was awarded the King Abdullah Award for Youth Innovation and Achievement. She was one of 3 winners out of 365 applicants from the Arab region, and was awarded a $50,000 grant for Nawaya!
Later on in the year, the Global Fund for Children, Alfanar, and NABAD social enterprise incubator all awarded Nawaya with grants to support our youth and strengthen various aspects of our program. We were also selected as part of the "Mentor Unit" program which is supporting the capacity-building of various NGOs throughout Lebanon.
In November, we gathered 75 people to run for us at the Beirut Marathon. We partnered up with two schools as well, whereby students collectively raised $2500 for us by selling lemonade, cookies, and cupcakes to their fellow classmates! What a great show of community support!
We are now looking forward to 2014. We have great things planned, and look forward to updating you about our progress in just a few months, so stay tuned to hear more updates about the 24 youth enrolled in our program!
In the meantime, there's a great way to support our youth this holiday season. Are you holding a holiday or new year's party? Do you know someone who is? Why not turn it into a fundraiser for our youth?
Simply choose a youth from our platform on www.nawaya.org. Let us know which youth you've chosen, and we'll send you a special holiday card with a photo and story about the youth, which you can share with all your guests! Guests can contribute online or offline, before or during the party!
Last year, three generous party hosts raised $2000 for us, which covered the cost of transportation for some very promising youth!
Give our youth the gift of pursuing their passions!
Thank you, as always, for your great support!
Happy holidays from The Nawaya Network team!
With summer now behind us, we have some eager youth waiting to be enrolled in some new classes this Fall season. For example, Nadine, now 19 years old, was just enrolled in a fashion design school where she will spend the next 3 years learning all the techniques to become the next biggest designer. And after a 2-month break, 15-year-old Rana has once again begun taking mosaic design lessons and is being paid per piece she creates, while Omar begins his new football season tomorrow, spending at least one hour on the road to get to his lessons three times a week. Our little Ahmed is still as passionate in basketball as ever, and his father continues to accompany him to every lesson, despite his physical disability.
We have many other youth who are so excited to have the chance to pursue their passions, such as Karen, who will be registered in a hip-hop academy within the next couple of weeks, and 7-year-old Yassir, whose singing voice is so powerful, we are sure he will rival the greatest singers one day. We can't wait for you to also meet Joshua and Amer, two teenaged boys who have a great gift in breakdancing, and Zainab, who is looking forward to raising the funds she needs to publish her new children's book soon.
Thanks to your generosity, we are able to help realize the dreams of so many neglected youth. With our program, we work hard to provide meaning to their lives and give them a reason to stay motivated. Thank you for believing in what we do and supporting us along the way!
Some great news to share with you all -- we have launched our online platform on www.nawaya.org!
We've made it easy for users around the world to empower disadvantaged youth by connecting them to employment and internship opportunities, trainings, mentors, classes, material support, and funding to allow them to pursue their passions.
We invite you to meet our first 16 youth online, check out their 1-minute videos telling their story, and explore the six buttons that make it fun and easy to give back!
For example, Omar is a 13 year old boy who has a passion for football. Although he has had no prior formal training, he is known as the Messi of his town. He does tricks few of his friends know how to do. He impressed even his teacher last summer, who alerted us about his football skills. We immediately decided to meet him and to enroll him in a football class.
We won’t forget Omar’s first day on the field. His parents were also there and were visibly excited. They saw their son interacting in a way they had never seen before. They saw him shine on the field, doing what he loves, and doing it well; he made them proud. At the end of the lesson, his mother came up to us and told us that it was her birthday, and that it had been the happiest day of her life.
What is remarkable is that Omar lives one hour away from the lessons, so he spends two hours on the road three times a week after school to get to the football academy and back. Omar’s dedication has been quite noticeable as he has not missed a single lesson, except for one (to study for his exams.)
Omar’s future in football may be promising, but it won’t offer him a stable career with a good income. But what it will do is boost his self-confidence, teach him leadership, discipline, teamwork, communication, and keep him away from violence and drugs.
We hope that with the launch of our new site, users will be able to connect kids like Omar to various opportunities to help keep them away from harm, and help build their skills to make them employable in the long-run.
We thank you again for your great support and look forward to updating you again in a few months!