The Lebanese Organization of Studies and Training (LOST), in partnership with the French Embassy [Projets Innovants des Sociétés Civiles et Coalitions D’acteurs (PISCCA)] launched a one-year project entitled, “A Step towards Social Stability“, which aims at helping Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities consistently enjoy their basic human rights and apply collaborative, conflict-sensitive, and non-violent responses to rising communal tensions.
LOST is empowering 80 key stakeholders to influence from the host and refugee communities as direct beneficiaries (Peace Steering Committee (PSC)). In addition, 160 Lebanese and Syrian youth will be trained on peace-building and will be involved in various activities.
The stakeholders that have been chosen are municipalities’ representatives, mukhtars, religious leaders, peace building CSOs and local associations, local humanitarian aid actors, women’s representatives, parents, school principals, leaders of the refugee community, and other relevant stakeholders. During the first phase, participants will receive training sessions about conflict transformation, peace-building, leadership, and IT/social media skills. The activities will include: designing a four-month program about social cohesion, creating community Young Leaders Groups (YLGs), and meetings with local, national, and international NGOs. A Facebook page has been created, titled “A Step towards Social Stability – STSS“, which will include updates about the project.
During the second phase, youth over 21 years of age who are socially active, committed, and educated will be chosen to participate. These participants will receive trainings about conflict transformation/peace-building, needs assessment, questionnaires, and IT/social media. The activities will include: monthly meetings for PSC members and YLGs, and meetings with INGOs.
Lastly, during the third phase, needs assessments will be conducted in each area, where PSC and YLG will work together to carry out community projects. Eight community projects will be finalized and implemented, which will respond to priority needs of both communities as identified during discussions and will have to address a specific source of tension and/or conflict. The purpose of these projects is to show that Lebanese-Syrian coexistence, if well approached, can become an asset for the whole community and will help create a better image about refugees in their new context.