Between February and December 2016, Anera’s skills training program reached more than 6,500 out-of-school teens in Lebanon.
These short skills training courses for refugee youth help equip students with skills in a variety of marketable fields, such as electric wiring, chocolate molding, floor tiling, sewing, beekeeping and more.
The program also offers youth training and apprenticeship opportunities that boost their potential as they enter the local job market. One form of these apprenticeships is community service, which allows youth to hone their skills while giving back to their community.
Almost 30% of youth completing vocational courses have also completed an apprenticeship. More than 1,200 did so through targeted community service projects.
Graphic Design Students Paint a Mural in Nahr El Bared
Six students from the graphic design course helped paint murals in Nahr El Bared camp. The initiative is part of Anera’s waste management program in Nahr El Bared and aims to raise awareness about cleaner environmental and sustainable practices.
Reem Rinawi is one of the design students in the refugee youth project who helped plan and conceptualize the mural, applying much of what she had learned in the design course.
“Before the mural design process, I practiced at home, where I made some initial sketches,” Reem said. “This is one of the most interesting experiences in my life. It was very rewarding to see the tangible impact that can result from applying the concepts we learned in the classroom,” she added.
Sewing Students Make Winter Clothing for Syrian Refugees
Ten participants from a sewing course in Bhannine, Akkar made 300 warm flannel pajamas for refugee children. They applied their skills in selecting fabric, making patterns, and the sewing waistbands. The pajamas were distributed in eight informal tented settlements in northern Lebanon to Syrian refugee families.
“We sewed two different patterns of pajamas, one for girls, and another for boys. They come in three different sizes to fit children ages 3-10,” said Mahassen Samman, the trainer of the sewing course.
Early Childhood Education Trainees Lead Interactive Activities for Children
Twenty participants from the early childhood development course in Sidon visited a local nursery and led a morning of interactive activities with the children.
“It was a lot of fun! We played, sang, and did several other activities with the children,” said Wafaa Abo Taleb, a participant in the course. “I learned that the reality of working with kids can be more challenging than what you read in books. But it is also far more rewarding.”
Free Haircuts in Refugee Tent Settlements
Ayham Dakar, 16, along with six other graduates from the men’s hairdressing course visited an informal tented settlement for Syrian refugees in Jib Jannine, West Bekaa. It was an open day of complimentary haircuts for men and children.
Ayham is a Syrian from Damascus, who fled with his family six years ago to Lebanon. “I am here to help people. I will offer them haircuts and will get experience as well,” Ayham said.
Khalil Assaf, 17, a Syrian from Homs, is now working to support his family as a car mechanic. “I joined the hairdressing course as I want to pursue it as a profession. It’s useful, clean, and always needed,” he said. “The event today was very interesting, and made me more determined to pursue my dream of being a professional barber.”
Similarly, four young women from a cosmetology course in Beddawi went along with their instructor, Intissar Ghanayem, to a center for the elderly in Nahr El Bared Camp. For a couple of hours, the elderly women received free haircuts and makeup application.
“Many of the women in the center have difficulty moving around, so they don’t go out very much. This kind of activity is really appreciated here,” said Hanan El Sayyed, the secretary of the center.
Amal Atieh, 18, one of the graduates who had dropped out of school in the ninth grade, is now planning to do an internship with a local hairdresser in Beddawi to further pursue it as a career. “I joined today’s activity because I like to put smiles on people’s faces, and that’s exactly what happened,” she said.
Young Photographer in Ein El Hilweh Covers Local Event
Baraa Al Mahmoud is a 19-year-old photographer covering International Children’s Day at Ein El Hilweh camp. She captured this photo of young girls celebrating. Not only did her photography help local organizers, but she applied the skills she learned in the Photoshop and photography course she recently finished.
In addition, some of Baraa’s friends from a chocolate molding course made some bite-sized chocolate treats for the day’s festivities.
The initiative was made possible with the partnership of UNICEF and funding from UK Aid, German Cooperation and the United States Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.