Common goals, community improvement
Working with our local partner, the Nabad Association for Development, you are providing a forum for Syrians and Lebanese in six communities to work through social tensions. They go through conflict resolution training, where they have an opportunity to raise issues and work through concerns. Then, working with local municipal governments, they collaborate in planning a project that will benefit both Syrians and Lebanese in the community.
In Ansar, a village south of Beirut, Moaz and his cohort identified a need for access to computers and the internet, especially among the youth, as well as practical vocational training. The mayor granted them the use of a room in the municipal building, which they rehabbed and equipped with 20 laptop computers, whiteboards, internet access and a large table used as a workspace or for meetings. The space is now a hub for the village’s youth and a community center where anyone can attend vocational instruction in areas like computer skills, electrical repair or barber training.
Moaz, who has lived in Lebanon for four years and works as an electrician, says he appreciates the internet access. But he most values the opportunity he’s had to really get to know his Lebanese neighbors. “There were some tensions about these things, but when we got close to each other and communicated with each other, the tension was gone. It got lost,” he says. “I feel that between the Lebanese and the Syrians, we have become almost like brothers.”