The Lebanese Organization of Studies and Training (LOST), with the continuous support of UNICEF, UKaid, German Cooperation (GIZ), and Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the cooperation of Douris municipality rehabilitated a public garden in Douris. The opening ceremony was held in the presence of the mayor of Douris, Brigadier Nazih Najim, founder of LOST, Dr. Ramy Lakkis, vice president of the federation of municipalities of Baalbeck, Mr. Shafiq Shehadeh, UNICEF youth section representative, Mrs. Abeer Abu Zaki, and other social figures. Several media outlets were present as well.
“This project supports the environment, hygiene, health, and aesthetics; therefore, our behavior should be directed towards seeing beautiful things, and we should work towards maintaining the beauty of this public garden”, Dr. Lakkis stated. Furthermore, he pointed out that the garden is a “place of communication between our families and the people of our town, and it is our duty to preserve the cleanliness and splendor of this garden, and we should care for it as we care about our own homes”.
Moreover, Mrs. Abeer Abu Zaki stressed that “the region needs a lot of attention. In cooperation with municipalities and community organizations, we recognize the needs and priorities, and we are able to address these issues”. Mrs. Abu Zaki explained that UNICEF strives to target youth, who are able to make a change to build a better society.
Brigadier Nazih Najim, the mayor of Douris, indicated that “the project has a moral force that is related to giving hope to young individuals; we will strive to ensure the minimum dignity of living away from the culture of violence and threat, and this garden is a space of peace and love among the people of this town”. Mr. Najim expressed his immense gratitude to UNICEF and LOST, and awarded Dr. Ramy Lakkis and Mrs. Abeer Abu Zaki with a token of appreciation.
The implementation of this community project was done with the immeasurable effort of youth, who played a huge role in designing and carrying out the project. In addition, this project complimented the “Sorting from the Source” campaign, which is carried out by the WASH team at LOST. The sense of ownership that was displayed by the youth was an excellent example for their surroundings, and for the inhabitants of the town. During a meeting with mukhtars and mayors, great interest was portrayed for the work LOST is doing, in partnership with UNICEF, in which the mayors and mukhtars offered to collaborate with the organizations as well. Surely, this garden gave the inhabitants of Douris a sense of hope and rejuvenation, which was displayed during the opening ceremony.