Support 100 Financially-Vulnerable Youth in Beirut

by The Nawaya Network
Support 100 Financially-Vulnerable Youth in Beirut
Support 100 Financially-Vulnerable Youth in Beirut
Support 100 Financially-Vulnerable Youth in Beirut
Support 100 Financially-Vulnerable Youth in Beirut
Fiona
Fiona

Hello,

The past two years have undoubtedly been challenging for the entire world.

Meanwhile, here in Lebanon, our list of struggles grows by the day; from COVID19, to the Beirut explosions, to the economic collapse, to the shortages in food, water, medicine, fuel, and power, etc…  

All factors that have crippled Lebanon’s youth, pushed thousands to leave the country, and plunged the vast majority of the rest in deep despair.

The past two years have not been easy indeed, yet here at Nawaya, we firmly believe that upskilling youth and preparing them to compete in the job market is essential to their personal wellbeing and financial stability. This is exactly what we continue to work for through the Career Path Program, in partnership with UNICEF and Jobs for Lebanon.

While we may not be able to solve the country’s issues, thanks to your kind and generous donations, we just might be able to change a few lives by instilling a sense of purpose, hope, and motivation, all the while connecting youth to valuable opportunities. 

Nawaya's Career Path Program has reached a total of 83 youth so far and we've recruited 50 more youth to benefit from round two of the program. 

Meanwhile, our team continues to work on building new relationships with partners to provide youth in the program with internships that would enrich their experience and help them find further employment. Some of our latest partners include Berytech, SE Factory, and Arc en Ciel.

Now, and without further ado, we leave you with a selection of youth success stories from the program. 

Once again, thank you so much for your very generous support, which has certainly changed the lives of a number of youth and their families!

Justine, 25 Years Old, from Beirut

The Beirut blasts were tragic for Justine and her family! They destroyed her father’s small shop, and only source of income, and sadly, injured her sister. 

By some miracle, Justine was unharmed, but her memory of that terrible day is hazy. All she can recall is being torn between helping her sister and trying to find her father to make sure that he had survived the blast.

As an interior design graduate, and like many other young graduates in Lebanon, Justine was faced with a cruel reality upon graduating;  an economy in ruins, a stagnant job market, and nowhere to turn to. The blasts were the last straw.

She’d lost all hope before enrolling in Nawaya’s Employment Hub but she poured her heart and soul into growing and developing her skills, in an effort to stay sane.

Just a few months after completing the program, Nawaya helped connect Justine to a job opportunity as a part-time architect with the Beirut Heritage Initiative.

Khaled, 24 Years Old, from Beirut

Khaled was born to a proud, tight-knit family. His father used to work as a taxi driver to support the family, and so Khaled had to work really hard in order to be able to afford his university tuition - one which he values tremendously, and is extremely proud of.

Like many youth his age, Khaled graduated into a declining economy, followed by COVID19, and then the Beirut explosion.

While Khaled and his family were unharmed physically by the blast, their home was completely destroyed by it, leaving them homeless for weeks.

“I saw things I should have never seen that day on my way home to check on my family. Internally, I’m as destroyed as our home,” says Khaled

As difficult as this experience is for a young person, Khaled chose gratitude above all else. That’s how he managed to join our training program and complete it.

A program which he says has elevated his communication skills, and helped him set a clear path forward for his career.

While the job market is almost at a halt in Lebanon, Khaled has managed to find a stable job with a local company that shares his values and appreciates his skills.

His visibility for the future is currently out of focus, but he is already planning on continuing his studies while working and supporting his family.

Rima, 21 Years Old, from Beirut

Outspoken, strong, and highly motivated twenty-one year old Rima is a journalism graduate who has been let down one too many times by gender and religious biases in her hunt for a job. 

You’re very pretty, you mayqualify for the job if you remove your veil and change the way you present yourself. I’ve heard this sentence more times than I can count,” says Rima. 

Despite all this, Rima believes in hard work and remains focused on self-improvement and development.

Rima is now pursuing a Master’s degree and has recently landed a job in communications with a partner non-profit organization.

She’d started considering working at a non-profit ever since she joined the Employment Hub program - a program she credits for opening up an alternate career pathway for her, as her experience trying to practice journalism was faced with many challenges.

Before joining the program though, Rima couldn’t make sense of what was happening to Lebanon, then Beirut was destroyed. She remembers being in shock, feeling deeply destabilized and conflicted. 

Despite these difficult circumstances, Rima refuses to adapt, and continuously challenges these circumstances by challenging herself - to learn, to grow, to work.

Fiona, 24 Years Old, Beirut

At twenty four years old, Fiona holds a Master’s degree in educational administration from the Lebanese University. 

Despite her education, Fiona found it difficult to find a job that matches her skills and aspirations. The only jobs that were available were ones that wouldn't value her education, skills or ambition.

Our financial situation at home was difficult. My father had lost his job and so had my sister,” Fiona.

Coupled together, these factors drove Fiona towards joining the Employment Hub program.

Driven by a deep desire to help others, and by interning at Beit Al Baraka, one of our program partners, Fiona proved very capable and so she was hired before completing the program.

Through the program, Fiona wholeheartedly challenged herself and the bleak ambiance in the country by staying focused on learning, setting a career path, and pursuing it. 

Fiona’s story is like many other youth  her age, except that she was one of the lucky few who has managed to secure a stable income for her family, staving off hunger and leading a dignified life.

 

With Gratitude,

Celine

 

 

 

Khaled
Khaled
Rima
Rima
Justine
Justine
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Fiona Walks the Streets of Beirut
Fiona Walks the Streets of Beirut

Hello,

I hope this update finds you and your loved ones in good health. 

While the world races to achieve immunity against COVID19, works to support those affected, and revive economies in the aftermath, Lebanon continues to free-fall into economic collapse, in addition to the pandemic and its effects. 

As stressors in the country continue to add up, poverty in Lebanon is likely to worsen in 2021. 

UN ESCWA estimates reveal that more than 55% of the country's population is now trapped in poverty and struggling for bare necessities, while Lebanon’s youth watch in complete despair as their education, and hard work “goes to waste”.

While some choose to leave the country, those with no means to do so, now more than ever, depend on programs like The Nawaya Network’s Employment Hub for hope, continuity, and yes, the monthly stipends provided within the program. 

For many, this stipend is the only source of income in the household.

As such, we renew our thanks to you for your continued support to the youth enrolled in the Employment Hub, and would like to bring you up to speed on progress achieved to date.

Eighty-one youth have now completed the program, including the internship, online training, and coaching sessions, some of whom have landed jobs with organizations they were interning at during the program. 

All of the youth participating in the program have expressed the value of the learning and development experience received throughout the duration of the program, therefore reporting higher levels of confidence, and motivation to pursue their job hunt despite these difficult times.

We’ve also onboarded fifty-one new youth into the program. They’ve now completed their internships enabling them to add hands-on experience to their CVs.

From a strategic standpoint, we’re continuing to expand our network of partners with the aim of broadening the spectrum of internships to match the number of youth and their majors.

Before we move on to have a look at what the numbers say about the program, we’d like to remind you that 100% of your donations to the Employment Hub go directly to fund the youth stipends:

  • 92 youth have completed 23 online training sessions, 
  • 84 youth completed their internship with Nawaya partners 
  • Reported drop-offs are usually due to early employment opportunities, education purposes, and/or moving out-of-country
  • 20% of youth interning in the call center unit have stayed on as volunteers as they’ve discovered a newfound passion for community-driven work.

Last but not least, we’d like to invite you to watch this short video of Fiona’s success story, one of the youth who has completed the program. 

As always, we would love to hear from you, please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, or suggestions at contact@nawaya.org.

Thank you as always for your generous support and for standing by Lebanon's youth during these challenging times!

Sincerely,

Celine Akkary

Links:

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Youth at the Christmas Market
Youth at the Christmas Market

Hello,

Happy New Year 2021 on behalf of The Nawaya Network team!

We here at The Nawaya Network are so proud of our recent work to provide youth in Lebanon with employment opportunities, and we’d like to thank you for believing in our mission and for being a part of our community.

Youth in Lebanon bravely fight and defy difficult circumstances day in and day out.

Our youth are remarkable, and their strength is inspiring. They are young adults, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, spouses, parents, friends… They laugh, cry, and have HOPE in the face of these terrifying times.

For the past three months, we've been able to build strong working relationships with acting relief organizations with the aim of supporting 27 youths from areas affected by the Beirut blasts. We've worked hard to connect them to paid internship opportunities (thanks to your generous donations!) by working with relief organizations and have partnered up with Jobs for Lebanon to provide them with online employability skill-building.

These 27 youths have been interning with numerous NGOs, including:

Live Love Beirut, a social enterprise on a mission to build communities that create hope, and a positive impact for nature, society, and culture in Beirut.

At Live Love Beirut, referred youth have supported the organization by managing their relief call center which supports thousands affected by the explosion, inputting the data from the calls on the system, assisting with events such as the Christmas Market, and sorting and managing donations.

The Volunteer Circle is an enterprise that connects NGOs to volunteers. Youth referred to the Volunteer Circle assist in coordinating and managing the different activities with the partners, finding volunteers for these opportunities, creating stories for communications purposes from volunteers, and data entry. Some of these youth have been deployed to do fieldwork with Beit Al Barakeh, Stand for Women & Ahla Fawda through The Volunteer Circle.

These 27 youth will be joining Jobs for Lebanon starting February where they will receive coaching support on the job application process and help in applying for three jobs through the Jobs for Lebanon platform. The main of this program is to increase the employability skills of youth in Lebanon and therefore increase their chances of landing jobs as they complete our three-months paid internship program.

In the coming two weeks, and by the third week of January 2021, we will be onboarding 54 more youth who will start their internships with Live Love Beirut, Arc En Ciel, Loyac, SE Factory, Rise Up Lebanon, and The Volunteer Circle.

By the end of 2021, we aim to have reached up to 130 youth in Lebanon through this program alone!

Our warriors are why we do what we do, YOU are the how! You are the essential piece of the puzzle, your support makes all of our work imaginable and possible and allows us to think bigger, and challenge ourselves to find better and new ways to serve youth every day.

With Gratitude,

Posing with Santa
Posing with Santa
Working with The Volunteer Circle
Working with The Volunteer Circle
At Social Hub's Employment Event
At Social Hub's Employment Event
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"I help because I can", Hussein
"I help because I can", Hussein

Hello Friends,

As you all know, Lebanon is going through the most severe economic crisis in its history, exacerbated by the outbreak of COVID19 and more recently by the tragic Beirut explosion which claimed over 190 deaths, with thousands of injured, 300,000 displaced and thousands of homes destroyed. Many of the few businesses still running in the city were wrecked forcing unemployment rates even higher.

With no income to pay for rent, food, or medicine, people are turning to desperate measures to survive, while crime, violence, drug use, homelessness, depression, and suicide are on the rise. Meanwhile, the country's youth have been stuck at home or unable to work or find employment, causing an increased sense of hopelessness.

In response to this situation, Nawaya has once more tailored its #EmploymentHub program to support up to 80 financially-vulnerable, unemployed youth by matching them with paid internships in Beirut by supporting NGO relief efforts, while also learning essential employability and soft skills through Nawaya's online training.

Enrolled and committed youth will receive a monthly stipend for a period of three months, after which they will be connected to a number of local and remote employment opportunities through the Jobs for Lebanon platform, in partnership with UNICEF.

Youth who commit to the program will receive $200 per month from Nawaya for a period of three months to sustain themselves, therefore decreasing their sense of hopelessness and increasing their sense of purpose and direction.

So far, we have eight youth enrolled in our program; five of them are already on the ground supporting the Lebanese Red Cross with data collection efforts. Mohamad, one of the youth, tells us: "The most rewarding part of my job is when I visit someone to assess the damages and they send me to their neighbor because they think they might benefit from the help more." Mohamad hopes his job would enable relief organizations to respond swiftly to the needs of those affected by the blast. 

Our goal is to enroll up to 100 unemployed youth in this program. So far, thanks to UNICEF, a very generous private donor, and a number of you who have already contributed to this crowdfunding campaign, we have secured funding to support the stipends of up to 85 youth! Will you help us secure the remainder?

This week, we're inviting you to join us in a celebration of the power of small acts of kindness for GlobalGiving's Little by Little campaign. From today until Friday, ALL online donations up to $50 will be matched at 50% !*

In the past month, we’ve learned just how important little actions—from cleaning up the streets of Beirut to feeding those in need —truly are. 

Donate today to support unemployed, financially-vulnerable youth here. 100% of your donation will go to support the stipends of these youth affected by the Beirut blast. Your support will help get them back on their feet to rebuild their lives and will give them hope to get through this difficult time. 

Forever Grateful,

Celine Akkary 

Mohammad
Mohammad
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Dear Friends,
We promised to keep you updated about the progress of our apprenticeship program.  Just like much of the world, we have been on lockdown since March.  
Since it is not yet clear when life will return to "normal" and businesses will re-open to provide internships for our youth - we have had to modify our program and think creatively about how else we can engage and support financially-vulnerable youth during these critical times for Lebanon. 
As a result, we are excited to share with you our new and modified program called: "Employment Incubator: Lockdown Version."  Similar to our initial plan, the objective of the program is to prepare them for employment once the lockdown ends.  
We will be interviewing them, assessing their strengths, interests, and aspirations, and identifying key skills they need to improve on over the coming three months, which will help strengthen their chances for employment in the future. 
Such skills could be English, Excel/Word, Powerpoint, Photoshop, social media marketing, accounting, and a number of important soft skills and employability skills.
Our program will gather online resources and videos for them which they will be required to read through and to watch during the quarantine. In parallel, they will be paired up with a mentor who will follow through on the progress and help them get through the material during the three-month period. 
In addition, we will be holding online group classes about specific topics to further build their capacity and their skills, offered by volunteers from around the world (if you're interested in getting involved, please let us know!)
We will be piloting this program this month with a few underprivileged youth who are confined to their homes without any source of income. In exchange for the capacity-building work that they do, Nawaya will offer them up to $150/month to help them get through this challenging time. Once businesses begin to open up again in the coming months, we will connect them to our youth so they can put their newly-acquired skills to good use in the workplace. 
Below, you will read the story of one of our youth so you can understand a bit more about how your generous donation will support hard-working, deserving youth during these immensely challenging times for Lebanon.
Thank you again for your wonderful support!
--
Hussein, 28 years old, from the South of Lebanon, had worked really hard to launch his fresh juice enterprise through Nawaya in 2019.
For him, the commitment to offering fresh juice to neighboring schools and hospitals, as a substitute to carbonated drinks and other harmful beverages, meant he would work through the night, every night to make sure he delivers tasty, healthy and freshly squeezed juice, before delivering in the early hours of the morning.
His story is one of true grit and courage! Hussein was a bus driver before enrolling in our entrepreneurship program. With coaching and seed funding and in the span of just one year, he managed to build a network of schools, universities, hospitals which offer his juice to their students and patients.
With a young child and an infant, Hussein started thinking about growth, and sustainability, only to be be taken aback by a series of events, the most recent of which being the COVID19 outbreak and lockdown. 
With the economy on the verge of collapse and the Lebanese currency losing around 67% of its value, raw material prices have soared, making it impossible for Hussein, and hundreds of other businesses, to continue doing business.
Hussein's small enterprise has now shut down. To feed his family, he's taken to growing essential vegetables.  When asked about the future, Hussein's otherwise cheerful demeanor turns somber. 
Hussein would pick up any job if it means a dignified life, food on the table for his wife and little girls. He would benefit tremendously from English language skills, Microsoft Office skills and others that would enable him to find decent employment when the lockdown is lifted and bigger companies start recovering.
Generous donations such as yours will go directly to support Hussein and others like him. Thank you once again!
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The Nawaya Network

Location: Beirut - Lebanon
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Nawaya
Project Leader:
Zeina Saab
Beirut, Beirut Lebanon
$34,781 raised of $45,000 goal
 
132 donations
$10,219 to go
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