This project provides refugees with vocational training courses, giving them the chance to learn new skills and earn an income for themselves and their family within the local Lebanese community. This enables them to become more self-sufficient both in the short and longer term, if they return home.
60,000 Syrian refugees are living in the remote town of Arsal in incredibly tough living conditions in make-shift shelters. The town is in the hills above the Bekaa valley of Lebanon and immediately borders Syria. It is frequently unsafe, with the threat of bombs and fighting nearby as well as occasional insurgents who infiltrate into the community. These refugees have largely been forgotten by the international agencies so everyday life and making ends meet is a huge challenge.
Refugees will attend vocational training courses that provide them with practical skills in sewing, textiles, mobile phone repairs, electrical work, hairdressing and beauty. Some course spaces will also be given to local Lebanese, to encourage better understanding between the communities and foster improved relations. The refugees choose the subjects themselves so they reflect demand as well as the needs of the local economy. The instructors also have an opportunity to use their skills.
Alumni from the training courses go on to open their own small businesses. They are able to earn some income to provide for themselves and their families as well as contributing to the community. This has an impact on the community and the local economy. In addition to addressing the refugees' immediate financial security, it also gives them motivation and a sense of purpose to their lives. These refugees have lost everything they hold dear and they can restore their dignity.