Young Nurses in Lebanon Find Jobs Amidst Unemployment Crisis
Anera's professional healthcare course for unemployed nursing degree graduates in Akkar, northern Lebanon is helping them find jobs.
Employment opportunities in Lebanon are shrinking by the day, while COVID-19 cases are only increasing. Hospitals are understaffed as the country is experiencing a historic exodus of talent and skilled labor. To address these developments, Anera’s educational team has organized a professional healthcare course for unemployed nursing degree graduates in Akkar, northern Lebanon. This course is one of many technical courses powered by UNICEF across the country.
This healthcare course is designed to enhance the student’s technical skills and provide them with a more professional learning experience to help them find, maintain and excel at their future jobs. The training was delivered by our local partner, Ibdaa wa Najah Association.
After completing the first phase of the course, the young nurses headed out to start their paid internships at hospitals and primary healthcare centers in Akkar. Not only did they gain work experience and generate income, they also served their communities by interning at public and charitable health centers that serve extremely vulnerable communities.
Badria Sharaf El-Din, the head of Ibdaa wa Najah Association, says that after the internship ended, some of these local health care providers hired the most committed trainees. “Salamtak Health Center employed seven of the students with official contracts, and Halba Governmental Hospital decided to hire three others.”
“Empowering these youth is our responsibility as they are our future.”
Throughout the course, the Ibdaa wa Najah team worked on boosting the young nurses’ self confidence and communication skills.
“We are glad to have UNICEF and Anera stand by us during these tough times in Lebanon,” Sharaf El-Din says. “Empowering these youth is our responsibility as they are our future.”
What makes this course such a success is the fact that these young nurses have officially been hired and are now part of Lebanon’s frontline healthcare workers.
Ghinwa Al-Ali is an 18-year-old first-year nursing student at a public technical institute. She joined this course to boost her skills and gain professional experience. She recently got hired as a nursing assistant at a health care center. She says
“I honestly had doubts that this internship would end with a job offer, especially with the horrific unemployment numbers in Lebanon. I even had my doubts if I’m capable of being a good nurse.”
This course developed Ghinwa’s self-confidence and helped her overcome some of the fears holding her back as a nurse. Working in a professional setting around experienced nurses and doctors was what Ghinwa loved the most about this experience.
“I also got to know a group of nurses who became my friends, and I got to know a group of doctors who helped us complete this course and became my mentors.”
"I got to know a group of doctors who helped us complete this course and became my mentors.”
After almost giving up on her dream to become a nurse in Lebanon, Ghinwa says that she is now able to look forward and think of her future.
“After getting hired, my ambitions of becoming a successful person have returned. I want to help myself and my new workplace so that we can grow together.”
Another young nurse is Nariman Bou Kasem, who, unfortunately, like many girls in Lebanon at risk of child marriage, got married well before she turned 18. She dropped out of school in the sixth grade and got pregnant with her first child.
But Nariman did not give up on her dream to become a nurse. In 2018 she enrolled in a vocational institute to study nursing. But she was unable to complete her studies and graduate because she could no longer afford the tuition.
Luckily, our partner Ibdaa wa Najah intervened after hearing her story, and helped cover her final year of educational expenses. She also enrolled in the professional healthcare course and after finishing her internship she was also hired at the health care center.
“I was selected, along with eight others, to be hired in this center, after I demonstrated my seriousness and commitment to work and my ability to complete my duties to the fullest.”
"I’ve been through a lot of hard times. But those experiences shaped me into the person I am today."
Talk about persistence! Today, Nariman is an employed nurse.
“My life hasn’t been easy. I’ve been through a lot of hard times. But those experiences shaped me into the person I am today. Yes, I got married very early — but today I have a three-year-old daughter, and it is my duty to ensure a better life and a better future for her.”