2021 was an exceptional and challenging year on various fronts; from open-closing of schools, economic crisis, August 4th explosion and COVID.
This made building productive and educational relationships with fellows, students, and schools more challenging with limited touch points and required that we make all sorts of decisions under uncertainty while we were stretched operationally due to the departure of key members of staff that decided to immigrate or shift to work with INGOs.
However, with a lot of dedication and hard work, TFL executive team has managed to shift most of its programs activities virtually and to promote a culture of growth within the organization and for learning online with our Fellows and students.
We have accomplished the TFL operational goals within the board’s guidelines and have also managed to set-up the organization for growth and expansion.
We have renewed partnerships with AUB, LAU and the University of Balamand for alumni support and started a new partnership with Centre Mine at the Lebanese University.
- The core program engaged 33 fellows teaching virtually in 18 schools
- We won several proposals competitively, and they will help us expand our impact and strengthen local partnerships with various public and private stakeholders namely, Ministry of Education and Higher education, the Catholic schools network and many more…
- These projects are creating opportunities for us: we can professionalize many processes at TFL, which will improve our organizational health and reputation, and relieve our staff from pressures.
- They also come with requirements of reporting and management, which requires us to do some things differently, and to expand our staff.
- On that front, we have done the following: (1) recruited a COO and financial manager; (2) launched initiatives to up skill and empower the staff (Individual PDPs, strategic planning retreat…) (3) we have plans to increase number of staff where needed –
Please find below a summary of the projects we are currently implementing:
The Big Bad Boo Peace Education Program that is going to be implemented in 150 schools across Lebanon this year; this project is funded by RDPP and in partnership with Initiate, a local non-profit based in Tyre.
The Exchange program between Teach For Lebanon and Teach First Deutschland to exchange knowledge and improve our respective refugees education programs, This project is funded by Porticus Foundation
A capacity building program to support team members (a sub-grant from TFALL funded by USAID- We just started Year 3 of this project)
The recently approved ''Access Microscholarship Program'' Funded by the US state department that has 3 different Pillars :
English access micro scholarship program offering 500 teenagers' (25 classes of 20 students each across 5 regions in Lebanon) that are learning in public high schools across Lebanon the opportunity to increase their English language proficiency by receiving 360 hours of English as a second Language, enhancement and leadership activities. We are in the process of hiring 25 teachers for this project, hence increasing our scale and reach to students across Lebanon and providing youth with decent job opportunities.
English teachers support an Access program; providing training to 200 teachers over two years.
Access Alumni support project; we will be giving training and micro grants for the access alumni network (6000+ members between the age of 18 and 32) in Lebanon.
BUILD BACK BETTER: We have initiated a Build Back Better Initiative to support students and school communities affected by the economic crisis and the Beirut blast. We are providing students with education and hygiene kits, offering free mental health support for parents; teachers and students (in partnership with Nafsaniyoun). The beneficiaries have been decided upon by close collaboration with SOS, MOSA, IMC, Public schools...). Here is a video of the “Build Back Better” relief effort TFL is leading in Beirut.
below is a reflection by a TFL alumna
Nagham is also working with Women Ascension to give trainings on soft skills (such as communication skills, leadership, and emotional intelligence); training youth on entrepreneurship and debate; and, having received a scholarship through TFL, pursuing a masters in rural community development at the American University of Beirut. She was selected to represent Lebanon as a speaker at the Global Women First in Breaking Barriers and Remarkable Accomplishments virtual conference organized by Women Entrepreneurs Worldwide and SHEWISE.
When asked what she sees as the link between her fellowship and the work she’s doing now, Nagham answers: “I can sum up my fellowship at Teach for Lebanon, in one word: IMPACT. Although I’m no longer working specifically with students, my journey of impact continues. I’ll always be equipped with the TFL values, and I will hold those values no matter where I go. I can’t help but recall the famous saying: ‘Once a TFLer, always a TFLer.’"
Addressing herself to current and prospective fellows Nagham adds: “I believe we all want to be good humans but not every day do we get the chance to be able to empower, heal, and teach one another. I believe TFL gives one the platform to experience his/ her humanity; it gets one to know himself/herself better and explore his/her potential. I encourage TFL fellows to make the best out of this experience, which can turn their whole journey into a very special one, a long lasting journey that doesn’t end after the two-year fellowship. I would also like to encourage TFL fellows to deal with students as if they are what they ought to be until they become what they are capable of becoming.”