It's been a while, I hope this update finds you and your loved ones in good health.
While COVID19 is still taking the world by storm and with the vaccines making their way slowly but surely to the masses, here at Nawaya we have launched our entrepreneurship program for low-income Lebanese and refugee youth. Our goal for the year is to support 750 youth by guiding them on how to start their own small businesses.
We have taken the first three months to overhaul our training curriculum based on developments in Lebanon this past year and have launched online learning in early March 2021.
Our curriculum is now divided into four main stages:
Stage 1: Entrepreneurship
This 12-day entrepreneurship training offers youth the opportunity to learn how to turn problems in their respective communities into opportunities, conduct field research, determine the building blocks and viability of their solutions, and lastly the opportunity to pitch in front of a jury.
Stage 2: FinCamp
FinCamp is a 7-day training that enables youth to dive into the financials of their projects, by creating realistic projections and a solid financial plan to back their ideas up. This stage is the final qualifier for incubation, with the second round of pitching, and a more solid plan.
Stage 3: Coaching
Successful youth who move on to the Incubation stage will get a chance to work with a coach, hone their business skills, develop a prototype and cover other business topics related to their projects. Incubation takes 2 to 3 months and follows a methodical approach for optimal results.
Stage 4: Post-Programme
Post incubation, youth will receive additional support through short-term mentorship, educational online sessions, referrals to local, regional, and international competitions, as well as other opportunities within the country, including GIL’s flagship events, Hakaya and Jawa2ez GIL.
In order to better understand the shifting variables in the Lebanese market today, and following a thorough economic market study conducted by an external surveyor, we're now able to guide young entrepreneurs on which types of businesses are more likely to succeed in this volatile climate. Some being: agro-processing and the agro-industry, tourism and hospitality, particularly local and rural tourism, education and development skills.
This brings us to 22-year-old Haidar from Sidon, a hospitality administration graduate who was looking to leave the country for a job in the Gulf before enrolling in the entrepreneurship program.
Through the program, Haidar was able to acquire sound foundational skills to run a small honey production enterprise as well as several beehives, which means he can now produce and sell his own honey, and more importantly generate and income and support himself and his family.
"I've had a passion for bees since my early childhood, bees drew me in due to the nature of their direct relationship with humans. They've also taught me so much" says Haidar.
We look forward to sharing many more stories from our young entrepreneurs throughout 2021.
On behalf of youth in our program and the Nawaya team, a very warm thank you for your donations, your support means that we can continue to serve youth through these difficult times.
As the festive season approaches, I'd like to thank you for giving hope to youth in Lebanon throughout 2020.
This year, we've seen youth deal with a multitude of challenges, related to health with the COVID19 outbreak, the economy with the collapse of the local currency, and last but not least the tragic Beirut blasts.
Throughout the year, and by reaching out to youth, most have relayed a sense of deep despair. A select few, however, have held on to hope and have risen to face a sad reality with projects that address some of the challenges our country is facing.
I write to you today with deep pride to thank you for your generous contributions to this project and share some of our youth stories so you too can join us in celebrating Lebanon's youth and change-makers.
Passionate about nature, wellness, and reading, Boushra's story is one of self-discovery through innovation, hard work, and success. Boushra joined GIL - Generation of Innovation Leaders with Nawaya in 2019 and has now launched her small enterprise, Teabah.lb, inspired by the mountains of the Chouf where she resides.
Where many saw challenges in 2020, Boushra saw opportunities. On a personal level, and like most of us in Lebanon, Boushra has gone through ups and downs throughout the year. Yet she kept going, with one goal, making a difference in her hometown by financially supporting women from her village and enlisting their services in harvesting and making tea blends for Teabah.
At just 23, Boushra knew that her community of women would inspire and motivate her to keep working, it is by helping them that she was able to renovate her workshop, sell her products online, participate in various accelerators and competitions, and last but not least, place her tea in select shops in Beirut.
I've included a link to Boushra's story, on video, should you wish to meet her and learn more about Teabah.
Our second story takes us South to Nabatiyeh, where Yasser, Mohamad, Nabih, and Adib formed team E-Farm, in response to the soaring prices of food products in the country, unhealthy food production practices, and the abuse of natural resources. Through E-Farm, this team of four produces organic vegetables and fish at fair prices for the Lebanese market while saving 90% on water usage.
Much of what we work for at Nawaya takes years to achieve, and through your actions, you are helping so many youths in Lebanon survive and thrive.
Thank you, from the heart,
These are sad and difficult times, we hope you and your families are safe and sound!
On 4 August 2020, a series of explosions rocked the port of Beirut city, the capital of Lebanon.
The powerful main blast resulted in at least 160 deaths, dozens of missing people, upwards of 6,000 injured and an estimated 300,000 people left homeless!
That is not to mention the material damages, estimated in the billions of dollars.
In response to this horrific event, The Nawaya Network and the IE Alumni Association in Lebanon, registration number 1185/AD, are partnering up to raise funds for disaster relief, health, and shelter organizations in the country.
In a country weighed down by an unprecedented economic crisis, exasperated by the outbreak of COVID19, response to a disaster of this magnitude is slow, at best.
The Nawaya Network and IE Alumni Association are sending an emergency appeal via GlobalGiving to support the people of Lebanon with medical supplies for the wounded, food parcels, shelter for those whose houses have been destroyed, and basic home repairs for those safe to live in but which have suffered damage.
Our aim is to raise $200,000 for 100 affected families!
The funds will be used for immediate medical needs, shelter needs, food, water needs, or basic home repairs.
Donations are tax-deductible for US and UK citizens.
In conclusion, we want to thank you for continuously supporting our efforts, be it in skill-building for youth or employment, we hope that you would also consider donating to our Beirut Emergency Relief fund.
With our gratitude and prayers,
The Nawaya Network
We hope you are all doing ok during this difficult period and all your loved ones are safe.
Now, more than ever, Lebanon needs us to keep going and to keep innovating with the changing environment, for the sake of the youth across the country.
As a result, in March, we launched our online entrepreneurship program in partnership with UNICEF as part of the Generation of Innovation Leaders (GIL) program. We had over 20 youth from UNRWA in Sibline and Rural Entrepreneurs in Baakline logging in to learn all about how they can turn their ideas into small businesses.
Our pilot ended just days ago, with many of the youth proposing business ideas that address COVID-19 related issues in Lebanon.
Firas from Baakline, for example, has found a way to turn methanol into pure alcohol, without methane gas. The result: a high quality, locally produced rubbing alcohol addressing the imminent market need as well as the inability to import such products in this economic climate.
Abdelrahman, on the other hand, has built a vaporizing machine that transforms water and sanitizers into a stream of vapor to be used in disinfecting store shelves and products, homes, or offices.
As our youth remain engaged and eager to keep learning during the pandemic, we are continuing to roll out more online training sessions for youth in other locations, including Bourj Hammoud with Mouvement Social NGO, Madineh Riyadieh and Saida with the Chamber of Commerce.
In addition, to continue supporting teams who have launched small enterprises through GIL, The Nawaya Network is now offering online mentoring.
Every week, we host online townhall sessions with experts, while dozens of youth listen in and ask tons of questions. We have already had sessions on how to adapt businesses during COVID-19, how to improve marketing strategies, online sales strategies, and a legal session.
And finally, in a bid to keep youth engaged and motivated, and to shed light on youth in Lebanon, Hakaya GIL, the program's signature storytelling event, will now be streaming on Instagram in bi-monthly mini-episodes.
The series will follow the stories of exceptional youth as they share inspiring their stories of how, through sheer will and perseverance, they've managed to triumph over seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their lives, the most recent of which relate the country's economic crisis, the pandemic and adapting their small enterprises for growth.
The live series launched on Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 with Ghina, a young girl from the South who shared her experience related to bullying and how it has shaped and impacted her life. Please make sure to tune in on Wednesday, May 20th at 3:30 pm Lebanon time for another inspiring talk with another Nawaya youth!
As always, thank you for your continued support. Please stay safe!
As this past decade ended, Lebanon saw progress on many fronts on one end, but had to face one of the most challenging economic situations in its history on the other end.
These past few months in particular have been transformative for the country and saw hundreds of thousands of Lebanese people taking to the streets in an unprecedented revolution against a corrupt government, defective systems and in demand of lacking basic human rights.
Youth were at the forefront of this revolution, leading change for the country and acting as a beacon of hope for the rest of us.
Here at Nawaya, were remain committed to our work with youth, especially in times of unrest.
To that end, we have big plans for youth in 2020!
Empowering youth to create their own work and generate income opportunities remains one of our priorities for 2020, with the entrepreneurship program ongoing and evolving to meet the needs of these young entrepreneurs.
As a result, the program will offer more youth in rural and marginalized areas the chance to be heard, through Hakaya GIL. An inspirational storytelling event series which sheds light on the young heroes who through sheer will and perseverance, have managed to triumph over various obstacles in their lives.
Jawa2ez GIL also makes a come back in 2020, with the aim of supporting youth teams incubated through the entrepreneurship program, #GIL. This event series is a unique learning and networking experience for the young entrepreneurs, as well as a funnel opportunity into various sectors.
Last but not least, we're happy to announce the return of our mentoring program, which aims at connecting young entrepreneurs with industry specific mentors who can support and guide youth through scaling their micro-enterprises.
2020 will be a challenging year for Lebanon and its youth, but we remain committed to doing everything we can to support as many vulnerable youth as possible and help them get through these difficult times. Thank you as always for your generous support!
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