Lebanon

Lebanon rapid post-conflict recovery program weekly report 11 - 18 May 2007

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I. PROTECTION

Construction of playgrounds in Baalbek

Mercy Corps is planning to construct community pitches in Baalbek and Hermel Cazas. On Thursday 16th and Friday 17th of May, an engineer from Plan Libre Company and Mercy Corps conducted site visits to eight future basketball and football fields, three of which will be implemented by LOST. Plan Libre is currently working on the designs for the fields and should deliver them for tendering by May 30th.

PSYCHOSOCIAL AND YOUTH ACTIVITIES

Gymnastic tournament in Nabatiye

Mercy Corps and the Kamel Youssef Jaber Social and Cultural Center organized a gymnastic tournament on May 17th, 2007. 35 students from the six participating public, and private schools, aged between 12 and 18 years, presented an amazing show at the Kamel Youssef Jaber Social and Cultural Center in Nabatyie. The event was attended by Minister Yassin Jaber, the sport coordinator for the South, Ali Kbeise, sport teachers and some parents. The first, second and third place winners in each category received a medal.

Abdallah Wehbi, third place winner in the 97-98 male category, is from Habbouch intermediate public school. He is talented in different kinds of sports and drawings, but, being deaf, he failed last year at school and cannot be enrolled in a special school adapted for his condition. Abdallah had an opportunity to show for his gymnastic talents and he achieved third place. Unfortunately Abdallah couldn't express his feelings but he looked proud to wear his medal,

Environmental Awareness in Primary and Intermediate Schools in Nabatiye

Mercy Corps, in partnership with the Kamel Youssef Jaber Social and Cultural Center is implementing the Environmental Awareness Project, addressing students in grades five through nine of 40 primary and intermediate schools in the caza.

This week, environmental lectures were held in the last 12 schools. Mercy Corps team monitored the sessions in Syr Al Gharbie primary and intermediate school, attended by a total of 234 students, of which 106 students aged between eight and 12 years attended the lectures.

The lecturer discussed the importance of the environment, the polluting agents, and ways to protect nature.

The lecturer also held a second environmental workshop at the Kamel Youssef Jaber Social and Cultural Center attended by 32 environmental teachers or workers from 40 primary and intermediate public schools in the caza.

During the lecture, the main environmental problems that are encountered daily with their solutions were explained. He then distributed a book entitled "Workshop for the environmental worker at school" and a CD on healthy foods.

As a complementary activity, Mercy Corps is organizing tree planting activities in ten secondary schools in the caza. During this week, students from seven schools' environmental clubs planted trees in the playground of their secondary schools in Nabatiye. The activity will be held in the remaining three schools next week. The number of trees planted ranged from 40 to 75, depending on the area available for planting. Gardenia, pine trees, mimosa, rose of Jericho and cedars are some of the types planted.

Headmasters and students were happy and thankful for the contribution which revamped their schools' playgrounds.

Delivering books to three schools in Nabatyie

Mercy Corps delivered books on the 9th of May to three public schools in Nabatiye: Jbaa, Nabatiye for Girls and Rimal Insar. The gift is an award for winning the Scrabble Tournament held on the 30th of March. Schools were given an opportunity to select books according to their needs. Each school sent to Mercy Corps' appointed bookstore in Beirut an Arabic, French and English teacher to ensure the broadest selection. Mercy Corps visited the schools on the 15th of May and the administrators were working on placing the books on the library shelves.