I hope you are safe and well.
I wanted to check in to see how you are doing and share what Nawaya’s been able to achieve last year, all thanks to your generous support.
As you are likely aware, we had, and continue to have, many challenges operating in Lebanon.
We’re using these to fuel our resolve and continue supporting youth through our employment, entrepreneurship, and economic development programs, to help them generate much needed income during this unprecedented economic crisis.
Thanks to generous donations from donors like you, we have the funds on hand to pivot when needed, and continue serving youth across the country.
We are fortunate to be able to continue to provide these much-needed skill-building programs as the demand for support has increased twofold (if not more) due to the current situation in Lebanon.
And now, without further ado, I would like to invite you to review the impact numbers enclosed in this update.
We are grateful for your support of our mission, and we look forward to continuing this vital mission work in new ways as we continue adapting to the unfolding situation in Lebanon.
With sincere gratitude,
This past year has been transformational for us here at Nawaya; we turned 10 in 2022, impacting more lives than ever through a growing roster of skill-building programs.
Before I dive further into this update, I'd like to take a moment to thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is through your constant support that we've been able to transform the lives of 12,000 people in Lebanon!
Here’s a brief video of what this journey’s been like.
With so much going on around the world, and so many worthy causes vying for your attention, we feel blessed that you believe in ours.
As 2022 draws to a close, we’re now compiling our impact figures for the year, and building on the success, expertise, and strengths to launch new programs in 2023.
I’ll be sharing these in the upcoming update!
For now, please join me in congratulating youth from the Employment Hub program for completing this rigorous, hands-on program, knowing that 65% of them have already found employment!
On another note, youth from the SPACE program also completed the full program, graduating and launching 25 community projects across Lebanon.
It’s heartwarming to see that despite Lebanon continuing to go through major turbulence, youth continue to take powerful action to shape their future.
Such are the following inspiring youth stories:
Earlier this year, Shuruk had been looking up volunteering opportunities but kept getting turned down because she was too young. She was referred to the SPACE program by a relative, and through it she launched a safe space for readers to be themselves without fear of opression.
Steven spent months trying to find a job. It took a coach from the Employment Hub program to teach him to change one simple thing on his LinkedIn profile, and within two weeks, he got a job offer.
Nagham has graduated from university with a degree in computer science. She was painfully aware of the gap between her education and the skills needed for her to find work. She joined SE Factory and worked really hard throughout the fourteen weeks of the program. She was hired just a few days after graduating from the program.
Hasan has dedicated most of his adult life to supporting his mother and siblings financially after his father passed on. Being from a remote, rural town meant his opportunities were limited. He had to go to Beirut, the capital, for his education, and later, his work. Today, and through the ARED program, Hasan has been able to return hometown to launch and run a small restaurant in his hometown.
Lara’s father lost his job during the pandemic, he was the only breadearner. Motivated to help, Lara joined the TAFAWOQ program while working odd jobs and studying for a double-major at university. Through the program, Lara discovered her passion for marketing and landed a job just a couple of months after completing the program.
Twenty-three-year-old Fatima is a biochemistry major with a master’s degree in plant and environmental biology. When the pandemic hit, Fatima decided she’d make the most of the lockdowns to join the entrepreneurship program, GIL, and launch her enterprise that produces affordable and highly in-demand Azolla-based fodder.
From all of us at The Nawaya Network, thank you for your donations! Your support helps to further our mission and is invaluable to us, thank you again!
Let us start by thanking you for your generosity and trust in our cause to conitnue enabling youth in Lebanon with programs that build up their skills and improve their income generation opportunities.
We're more than halfway through the year, and Lebanon's situation only seems to be getting worse.
Earlier this year, a report published by U.N. agency ESCWA reports that an alarming 80% of the population in Lebanon is now under the poverty line.
Youth are desperate to leave the country but those who can't are left vulnerable to exploitation, depression, drug use, violence, and even suicide.
Our update covers two youth stories who, through our programs, were able to challenge these difficult circumstances to stand on their feet.
Assil, 22 years old
Becoming an entrepreneur takes business sense, initiative, and a great idea. Assil, age 22, from Baalbeck, had all three of these qualities when she founded her business, Cultiva. She produces high-quality potting soil made from purely natural components, which she sells at fair prices to farmers in need to such soil to help grow their own products.
Lebanon imports more than 80% of its needs across all sectors, which contributes to extremely high prices. Her small enterprise encourages local production and helps farmers and seed nurseries in selling affordable products.
Since the launch of her project, Assil has participated in many exhibitions and trade fairs inside Lebanon and in the GCC. Her potting soil has won several awards for quality, competing with some known European brands.
Without the knowledge gained from the entrepreneurship program, Cultiva would never have 'taken root'!
Kevin, 24 years old
Kevin is from the Chouf area in Lebanon. He has been working in the restaurant field since he was 13 years old.
Approximately two years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer and had to stop working to focus on his medical needs. He went through aggressive and necessary treatment, but such treatment came at a cost, psychologically and financially. His savings and ability to afford day-to-day living expenses fell by 90%, and his parents lost the vast majority of their savings as well in order to help cover the cost of treatment. They barely had enough to eat at the time, and struggled significantly to pay for his treatment.
At this juncture, Kevin saw Nawaya’s Employment Hub program announcement on social media and applied. Upon signing up for the program, his morale began to lift as he started looking ahead in life and setting goals for himself. Although he was still taking each day as it came, he was able to work with his career coach on setting and organizing his goals by studying Event Management, and eventually finding employment with a local events management company.
We thank you once more for your kindness and generosity and hope these two stories brought a smile to your faces, as they did to ours.
In our last update, towards the end of 2021, we shared two inspiring youth-led projects and our renewed commitment to better serve youth through our programs.
Lebanon's political, economic, and social landscapes are shifting continuously, a bit too often... Their destabilizing effects are taking their toll on all of us, but perhaps more so on youth, who since 2019, have been reporting an increasing sense of despair and confusion.
This shifting landscape has prompted us to adapt, expand our areas of implementation, and in turn offer a variety of programmes to cater to the needs of youth from various regions in the country.
Our entrepreneurship programme now guides youth towards business categories that have a better chance of succeeding in this climate, as recommended by expert researchers.
During the past year or so, we launched an employment program that boasts a 67% employment rate in its pilot rounds.
We've also launched a program that aims to create work opportunities in North East Bekaa, an area largely neglected by the government.
In Beirut, we continue to support small and medium enterprises and youth affected by the economic collapse and the Beirut explosions.
Late last year, we launched a youth empowerment programme meant to create young changemakers, giving them the skills and knowledge needed to launch community projects with a social or environmental impact.
Our intensive coding bootcamp, SE Factory, is still ongoing boasting an astounding 90% employment rate among coders.
This month marks our tenth anniversary. We're proud to share that we have supported over 7,000 individuals across the country so far, but we've got a long way to go still.
As always, we're extremely grateful for your continued belief in our mission and your support and are counting on you so we can continue to provide youth with the tools they need to work and thrive during these challenging times.
We're quickly approaching the end of 2021, and looking back at this past year makes us grateful for your support in upskilling youth in Lebanon.
While we wish we could do more, we're also incredibly proud of the achievements we've been able to do together. Together, we've seen hundreds of youth complete the program to become independant, productive business owners despite the economic collapse and the resulting inflation, power cuts, water, food, and medicine shortages, to name just a few of the country's woes.
Perhaps what we are most proud of is the sense of community and togetherness that youth in our program report. For them, it's become a safe space to connect, innovate, share ideas, vent, and grow together.
To highlight this project's impact on youth, we've selected two videos to share with you below that follow the journeys of Joanna from Beirut, and Othman from Sidon.
The Holiday Season may be a time for most of us to celebrate, for us at Nawaya, it's time to double down on our efforts, because many more youth in the country are counting on our support.
With that we wish you continued health during the pandemic and send you our best wishes until our next update!
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