“Promoting Adolescent and Youth Empowerment and Engagement in Baalbeck through Learning and Skills”, a project that has been implemented over the years by the Lebanese Organization of Studies and Training (LOST), in partnership with UNICEF, provides youth with the opportunity to learn and create through several sub-programs that enhance their skills and promote creativity. Among the several programs that are being implemented, the competency based skills (CBS) training aims to teach youth cognitive and instrumental skills.
As part of the CBS training, Lebanese youth in Chaat who are learning photography are visiting refugee camps and villages to capture photos, in an effort to utilize the skills they learned in their photography class. As an incentive for these youth to put in their ample effort into photography, the best photos will be chosen to be printed, framed, and displayed in LOST’s Chaat center. As a result, the center will be decorated with their photos, while also giving youth credit for their hard work, and allowing them to express their creative ideas.
Furthermore, youth can use photos to tell a story or to convey a message to society, such as the photo above taken by Rim Mokdad, which will be printed and displayed in LOST’s Chaat center. When Rim was asked about what she learned in the photography session thus far, she replied: “I learned how to carry the camera the right way, and how to control the light and shutter speed according to the location, with the assistance of the teacher”. Rim added that “photography is a wonderful and renewable profession, and it is a way for us to see the world in a miniature and beautiful way”. According to Rim, this photo is “a protest and a call to end wars, so that Syrians can return to their homes and live normal lives, free of displacement”.
Through photography, youth are able to share their ideas and raise awareness about issues in society. Photography is a great way to allow the voice of youth to be heard, because it has many different formats it can be used. Youth photography programs can be seen as an effective way of promoting positive change at an individual or a community level.