Save the Children empowers Lebanese organizations to make sustainable change in communities’ lives
“When we first established 'Al Tafawwok wal Saadah', we didn’t have much experience. We had problems on the financial, technical, managerial and financial levels. Our mission and vision weren’t clear enough and the staff members’ roles weren’t organized. However, our volunteering spirit and neutrality made us progress and prove ourselves to Save the Children Lebanon (SCL) ”, says Fayek Shehadeh, project coordinator in the organization.
“We began working with Save the Children in 2012; since then, we have expanded our programmes to target both youth and children, under our newly established education and child protection sectors” says Yasmine Dalle, LAY’s executive director. Al Tafawok wal Saadah and Lebanese Active Youth (LAY) are two of Save the Children’s twenty-two local partner NGOs in Lebanon. They have been solicited and their staff members have been trained by Save the Children to sustain field results and to build their capacities in different functions, as well as introducing them to St. Joseph University’s Mentor Unit, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
St Joseph University is one of the best in Beirut, and its mentor unit aims to institutionalize the operations of newly established organizations. “Four of our staff members are now taking NGO management and finance courses in St. Joseph University’s mentor unit. Furthermore, thanks to this programme, we are now working on finance software, after we’ve been conducting our finances manually” says Yasmine. “We had a major positive shift in our work after Save the Children partnered with us.” adds Fayek, “We have been trained on implementing education projects and positive parenting sessions which majorly improved our staff’s expertise. We also now know how to write a professional proposal and define our goal.” “Most importantly” he says “we have seen a significant change in the area of Wadi Khaled in North Lebanon. This area is difficult to work in, as it is known for its political and sectarian differences, but now its people view us as an adequate NGO because we are capable of supporting refugees through providing humanitarian assistance, thanks to Save the Children’s support”.
Al Tafawok Wa Saadah was established in 2006 in the North of Lebanon, following July war on the same year. As for LAY, it started operating in 2011 in Bekaa area, east of Lebanon. Both organizations respond to Syria crisis targeting children and youth with education and child protection programs.
During recess at one of Al Tafawwok wal Saadah's education centers