Lebanon

Lebanon rapid post-conflict recovery program weekly report 02 - 09 Dec 2006

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I. PROTECTION

Psychosocial and Youth Activities South Lebanon

Greetings from South Lebanon Drawing Competition

The "Greetings from South Lebanon" Bookmark and Postcard Competition is continuing in Nabatiye, in partnership with the Kamel Youssef Jaber Social and Cultural Center and the Ministry of Education. Mercy Corps invited all students from Primary School levels 1-4 to participate in the contest, providing them with an opportunity to use their new supplementary school kit supplies (including construction paper, scissors, crayons, and watercolors). Nine schools have submitted their entries to the Mercy Corps office thus far: Roummane Intermediate, Nmairiye Intermediate, Harouf First Intermediate, Arab Salim Intermediate, Hessen Halal Intermediate, Sheeikh Naaim Mahdi Intermediate, Charqiye Primary, Doueir Primary and Maifadoun Intermediate Schools. The Exhibition and Awards Ceremony will be held in mid-January as requested by the Kamel Youssef Jaber Social and Cultural Center.

The Celebration of the International Day of People with Disabilities

To mark the International Day of Disabled Persons on December 3rd, Mercy Corps supported several activities implemented by the Philanthropic Association for Disabled Care in Nabatiye. The Association set up 'Peaceful Checkpoints' at 5 intersections around Nabatiye where 30 students distributed flowers, stickers, and brochures listing the 'Rights of the Disabled' to cars passing by. Three colorful posters listing the rights of the disabled were also designed and distributed in public and private schools and in public places throughout the city.

Increasing Skills Development Opportunities for children and youth from Nabatiye

With support from Mercy Corps, the Kamel Youssef Jaber Social and Cultural Center in Nabatiye will equip and manage music and sport classes, specifically targeting children and youth from underserved public schools that lack extracurricular opportunities. The Center is launching cinema and drama activities for the same target group but also other members of the community of Nabatiye City and Caza; Center believes that cinema and theater, in addition to providing a positive social outlet for the area's young people, will build a base for community dialogue across groups and neighborhoods.

In this spirit, the Center is organizing a two-day workshop for the youth from the Secondary Schools. The workshop will focus on promoting unity and removing barriers between different groups. The workshop will involve 30 boys and girls from Shia, Sunni, Christian and Druze villages, who will participate in the meeting at the end of December.

Baalbek

In partnership with L.O.S.T., Mercy Corps is implementing the following projects to support conflict-affected communities in the Baalbek area:

Basketball Court

A community pitch with mobile basketball nets, volley ball nets and bleachers was completed in the Osaira neighborhood of Baalbek. An opening event was held on the 8th of December with a competition between two local teams. The court was opened by the Mayor of Baalbek and the founder of L.O.S.T., Dr. Rami Lakkis. The event was attended by approximately 80 people, including community residents, parents and community leaders.

Iaat Park

The final stages of the landscaping have been completed, including the laying of sod and planting of flowers, and the irrigation system is complete. The Municipality has laid stones to the entrance of the park and increased the height of the fence around the area. The park is set to be completed by December 10th and an opening event is scheduled for the end of December or early January.

Baalbek Hay Alwad Community Pitch

The work on this project began on December 6th and the site is being prepared for leveling.

Women's Rights Lecture (from private funding)

lectures on women's role in society and women's rights were given at a restaurant in Baalbek for approximately 70 women as part of an English training program for women.

Burj El Barajni-Mercy Corps staff is working with the team leaders of both Youth Leadership Centers (YLCs) in Bourje al-Barajne and Bourje Hammoud to develop strategic plans and schedules of activities for the Centers. Next week, they will finalize all the plans and begin implementing the first activities. Both YLCs are focusing on two main activities: recruiting additional members and planning a gathering for the members of both YLCs to share past experiences and lessons learned and to discuss future collaboration. In addition, both YLCs will begin a two-month Microsoft certified computer training program in the coming weeks.