THE LEBANESE ORGANISATION FOR STUDIES AND TRAINING
Vision, Mission, Values, Capacity, and Programs
Empower and engage people in Lebanon to live in dignity and peace based on the respect, protection, and fulfillment of Human Rights.
Work with people, particularly women and youth to create a more developed and equitable society through reducing poverty, eliminating exclusion, and fostering a culture of peace.
As an organization, LOST is committed to sustainable development with the fulfilment of Human Rights. It has a responsibility to safeguard the people with whom it works based on the following values:
- Mutual Respect: Recognizing the innate worth of people
- Responsibility and Responsiveness: Being responsible for and responsive to the needs of people
- Transparency and Rule of Law: Making rule of law customary and not leisure
- Equality and Equity: Ensuring equal opportunity to everyone, irrespective of gender, religion, sect, disability, or age
- Independence: Representing LOST’s ethics without an affiliation to any political or religious entity
Our values are applied in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993), and other international agreements which uphold the rights of all people including children and women. We are therefore committed to the protection of people from ‘all forms of physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual violence’ as outlined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 48/104 of the Declaration of the Elimination of Violence against Women. The policy aims to ensure that all staff and representatives implement policies and procedures which prevent abuse as well as behavior that may be misinterpreted as leading to or constituting abuse.
Established in 1998, the Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training (LOST) focuses on developing the ultra-conservative and underdeveloped communities of the Republic of Lebanon socially, politically, and economically via versatile programs that build and enhance communal capacity, educate and train youth and women on matters of civic and intellectual nature, and engage them in civic affairs. The ultimate objective yet is creating a democratic and peaceful society where rule of law, justice, liberty and economic wellbeing are customary.
LOST’s programming focuses on developing the intellectual capital of the local society via programs for youth, women, and children. Since its inception, LOST has managed over USD 20 Million in community development projects funded by numerous international organizations and government institutions including but not limited to the World Bank, UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, UNFPA, UNESCO, WFP, Embassies of The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Action Aid Denmark, GIZ (Germany), Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Mercy Corps, Italian Development Cooperation, Search for Common Grounds (SFCG), Canada Fund, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), GVC, Forum ZFD, OrientHelfer, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung(KAS), and Government of Bavaria among many others.
Organizational Capacity and Management
LOST is headed by the Chairman of the Board of Directors who is the General Manager of the organization in charge of setting its vision and goals and also of overseeing the Board, and other personnel. The Board of Directors serves as an advisory role to the Executive Managers and is composed of seven members including the Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Research Director, Public Relations Director, Media Director, and External Affairs Director.
The Board, along with the General Manager, oversees a team of nine branch coordinators, each of whom is in charge of leading a sub-regional branch of LOST. Currently, LOST operates nine sub-regional branches located in Bednayel, Chmestar, Brital, Bouday, Deir Al Ahmar, Chaat, Ersal, Ein, and Hermel, added to a center in Baalbeck which serves also as the headquarters of the organization.
Each of LOST’s branches has a coordinator, administrative staff, and a fleet of trainers and field officers in various fields ranging from English language to Human Rights to Information Technology to Democratic Governance…
The central Headquarters in Baalbeck includes several units that look over and support the well flow of organizational process and project execution, of which:
- DM&E Unit: the Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation unit is in charge of proposal writing, primary budgeting, Creating M&E systems as well as monitoring and evaluating ongoing activities and reporting throughout the organization.
- T&C Unit: the Training and Curricula unit is in charge of all training of trainers and developing curricula regularly used in LOST projects as well as overseeing social studies and communal needs assessments.
- Finance Unit: in charge of budgeting, auditing, and accounting for all financial dealings such as financial reporting, staff salaries, and financial statements.
- HR Unit: Human resource unit, in charge of recruitment, staff Development, Staff monitoring, organization and distribution of human capacities.
- Procurement Unit: in charge of all purchase orders, term contracts with suppliers, as well as requests for tender.
- Logistics Unit: in charge of warehousing and transporting products to and from the locations required, also in charge of transporting employees to and from different LOST locations, and responsible for maintenance and equipment.
LOST is also managing several offices and institutions:
- ECC: Electronic and commercial center, a vocational institution which provides different majors to prepare students for future employment.
- EEB: Employability and Entrepreneurship Bureau provides detailed market studies and then links youth to apprenticeship and employment opportunities. They also are in charge of holding job and major fairs and ensuring that any job opportunities provided are professional and safe.
- LCEC: Lebanese Center for English and Computer provides teacher development courses (TDC) and different courses such as English, CISCO IT, and SAT and TOEFL preparation.
- LDO: Liaison and Development Office helps donors map local community needs, and builds capacities for municipalities, eventually linking municipalities to donors.
Strengths of the Organization
LOST prides itself primarily for the impact it is exerting on the Baalbeck-Hermel region, and for playing a leading role in lifting this region from the stagnancy of underdevelopment and ignorance to the springs of prosperity and enlightenment. In the accomplishment of this mission, LOST takes advantage of its strengths which it has been developing since its inception in 1997. These strengths are the following:
- Experience of Organization: LOST is the most inveterate organization of its type in the Baalbeck-Hermel region dedicated to improving the lives of the locals socially, economically, and politically. This strength allows LOST to gain from the experience it has accumulated over the years in running projects successfully and in delivering quality education and services to the local population.
- Highly-Qualified Local Staff: LOST employs some of the brightest minds in the Baalbeck-Hermel region who are experienced in their fields of expertise and graduates from the top universities in Lebanon and some of the leading universities in the world. LOST staff’s primary strength is the training they receive from the leading international entities. This strength allows LOST to deliver high quality results to its stakeholders and to provide top-notch services to its target populations. LOST ensures that its employed staff are local and from areas in which they work. This guarantees the provision of the maximum possible job opportunities to those who are qualified and provides the added value of people working in their community for their community.
- Well-Established Network: LOST has a very-well established professional network in the region with partnerships with over 50 educational and research institutions, local governments and municipalities, Non-Governmental Organizations, public figures, government officials, and news media. This strength allows LOST to gain access to any resource which may be necessary to accomplish its objectives and carry out its plans.
- Reputation: LOST garners an impeccable reputation gained from years of delivering quality, transparency, and accountability results and services to the communities of Baalbeck-Hermel Region and in fulfilling its obligations to its stakeholders, including donors and target populations. This strength allows LOST to gain the respect of the public at large and of government officials, which facilitates its access to resources necessary to carry out its mission and execute its plans.
- Recognition by Government Institutions: LOST has been officially recognized by the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Lebanon, MEHE, MDSA, and by the United Nations Development Program as an accredited institution. This strength allows LOST gaining the trust of the Lebanese public and of major donors and institutions.
- Transparency: LOST is distinguished with its transparency with all the stakeholders and beneficiaries who are part of LOST projects, the donors, local authorities, and the community. LOST staff and management ensures that transparency is the core principal in which it operates. In addition, LOST adopts transparency as an internal policy within its staff and management including internal and external audits.
- Coordination: LOST coordinates sector and inter sector meetings to constantly keep updated and informed about the progress and well-being of operations. LOST also conducts regular meetings with the different UN agencies to maintain a high and updated level of coordination. In addition, LOST believes in benefiting the community therefore sharing data with sister organizations is routine done regularly. LOST also shares an activity info report on its website with all its stakeholders updating on its precise activities and beneficiaries served per month on a sector per sector basis.
Education: LOST is running several education programs, in partnership with UNICEF, which aim at empowering vulnerable and illiterate Lebanese and Syrian youth. These programs include: Basic Literacy and Numeracy (BLN), Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), Homework Support Retention program, as well as other educational programs.
Governance and Supporting Local Government Forms: Through the Democratization project, LOST aims to promote the role of municipalities, the role of CSOs in promoting democracy, human resources management, and managerial skills. In addition, LOST is running the Liaison and Development Office (LDO), which is a department that delivers consultancy services, and receives needs requests from municipalities.
Humanitarian Assistance: “Nehna la Baad” is an intuitive that is carried out by LOST, which aims at supporting vulnerable families who are in need. It is a center that receives and distributes donations such as clothing, and provides humanitarian assistance.
Livelihood: LOST carries out several youth programs that allow youth to acquire skills that they can use to generate income, and to be independent. These programs include digital skills trainings, computer, hairdressing, makeup, photography, etc.
Social Stability: To promote social stability, LOST conducts several trainings for Syrians and Lebanese, such as civic trainings, conflict resolution, municipal law, team-building, and conflict transformation. In addition, community projects are implemented following needs assessments.
Protection: LOST has been implementing stateless projects, where stateless individuals successfully reached a final verdict in their cases, and then registered in the Directorate-General of Census to attain their corresponding IDs. Also, LOST carries out training workshops about trauma healing to vulnerable Syrian and Lebanese women, in addition to seminars on health, teenagers, and family planning to their spouses.
Water Hygiene and Sanitation: LOST carries out assessments at several ITSs in Baalbeck-Hermel, to identify the areas that need service reception, such as an environment friendly waste water system, hygiene promotion trainings, sorting from the source campaign, etc.
Health: LOST is implementing a health project, in partnership with UNICEF, which targets/engages women from different areas of Baalbeck-Hermel, by messages that explain the benefits of breastfeeding, optimal infant and young child feeding practices, immunization, and the service provision at MOPH Primary Health Care centers (PHCCs).
Food Security: Several families in Baalbeck-Hermel are benefitting from increased food security through sheep distribution, which is part of the “Food Security for Vulnerable People in Baalbeck-Hermel” initiative, supported by the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).
Women and Youth Empowerment: LOST aims to empower women through the “Empowering Women to Lead” project, where women discuss ideas for community projects, conduct needs assessments, and carry out the projects in Baalbeck-Hermel.
LOST’s Interventions for 2014-2017
LOST has managed several development projects in Baalbeck-Hermel region from cash grants to in kind grants and partnerships. It received support from numerous international donor institutions and governments. In a compatible framework with the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), LOST’s interventions for the years 2014-2017 are focused on:
- Identity and Citizenship
- Women and Youth Political Empowerment
- Advocacy and Civic Engagement
- Enhancing Livelihood and Economic Capacity
- Micro Financing and Managing SMEs
- Promoting Market Opportunities for Local Products
- Building Production Capacities for Youth and Women
- Generating Additional Income by Supporting Value Chains
- Job Placement
- Human Rights, Legal Aid and Justice
- NGO Educational Platform- RACE 2
- Refugee Programs (Education, Protection, Livelihood, WASH, and Basic Assistance)
- Guiding Lebanese Stateless People to ID Attainment
- Promoting Women’s Rights
- Peace Building and Social Cohesion
- Applied Research
- Creating Social Cohesion Platforms
- Peace Education and Building Capacities of Peace Activists
- Re-bridging Society According to Common Needs