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Making Youth a Part of the Solution in Lebanon

Lebanon’s North and Beqaa regions host some of the country’s most economically vulnerable communities, further strained by the influx of Syrian refuges.

Marginalization of youth during the Syrian conflict has been a major driver of tension, and many Lebanese beneficiaries have felt a sense of unfair competition resulting from trainings provided for Syrians.

Within this tense and often challenging environment, our Lebanon Community Resilience Initiative (LCRI), funded by USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives, strategically partnered to provide idle and unemployed youth with skills and networks to help them re-enter the job market, reviving depressed areas deeply affected by armed violence. Our partner was the well-established NGO, Naseej Committee, in Wadi Khaled.

The project aims to strengthen the ability of Lebanon’s most vulnerable communities to cope with the destabilizing effects of the Syrian conflict by strengthening youth empowerment and civil participation, promoting peaceful alternatives to violence, reducing the isolation and marginalization of communities and supporting moderate actors.

We have trained some of the most at-risk youth on marketable skills, such as cell phone repair, and life skills such as conflict mitigation and entrepreneurship. The design of the activities ensured that interventions did not marginalize Lebanese or Syrian youth – setting our project apart from other programs.