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Mount Lebanon Youth Pioneering Initiatives A Model to follow in All Regions
Posted on Mar 24, 2021 |
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Since 2019, Lebanon has been suffering from a severe economic crisis that led to the deterioration in the living conditions of the Lebanese people as the coronavirus imposed its restrictions on the economy, followed by the 4th of August 2020 explosion. Like other Lebanese governorates, Mount Lebanon Governorate has been affected by these successive crises, which have weighed heavily on its economy. However, the youth have played a key role in helping to overcome and address these crises through numerous initiatives.
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 Mount Lebanon Youth Pioneering Initiatives A Model to follow in All Regions
©Adra Kandil

Since 2019, Lebanon has been suffering from a severe economic crisis that led to the deterioration in the living conditions of the Lebanese people as the coronavirus imposed its restrictions on the economy, followed by the 4th of August 2020 explosion. Like other Lebanese governorates, Mount Lebanon Governorate has been affected by these successive crises, which have weighed heavily on its economy. However, the youth have played a key role in helping to overcome and address these crises through numerous initiatives.

Since the coronavirus crisis, Ali Ayash, a 20-year-old from Aley district in Mount Lebanon Governorate, along with 10 young men from neighboring areas, has been raising awareness among residents of the region about the coronavirus and how to prevent it. As a result of the general lockdown, the closure of businesses and the deterioration of the economic situation, Ali and a group of his mountain companions spearheaded initiatives aimed at raising financial donations to buy food rations and distribute them to the poorest families in the region.

Likewise, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Liliane from the Bchamoun area in Mount Lebanon, has also with a number of young people, filmed awareness-raising videos about the coronavirus and the need to limit social events to avoid mixing. Also, during the holidays, such as Christmas and Eid al-Adha, Lilian greeted the people and residents of the area through the radio and microphone to avoid street celebrations, as the region used to every year.

From Ali and Lilian to Tony Abou Mitri, from Hammana region, who has been working with youth in the region since the beginning of the economic crisis, in collaboration with the municipality and associations, to support the poorest families. With the onset of the pandemic, students in most Lebanese regions, especially those in the town of Hammana, were forced to resort to distance education. Through communication with expatriates and a number of associations, the region's youth have secured computers for students of the poorest families so they can follow their lessons.

From the coronavirus and the economic crisis to the disastrous August 4 explosion that shook the capital Beirut, the sight of young volunteers from various Lebanese regions on the front lines healing the wounds of those affected, cannot be forgotten. The explosion of the capital mobilized the Mount Lebanon youth of all affiliations and communities to support the wounded city. Ali and a group of young people from the mountain region first gathered themselves spontaneously and took to the streets of the stricken capital, then afterwards organized their movements over consecutive days. They split into groups, each specialized in a particular field: "cleaning operations, distributing food rations, repairing a number of houses...". After the August 4 explosion, the primary role of Lilliane and the young people from Bchamoun was to distribute meals to volunteers in the affected area. The group was also keen to collect financial donations from the people of Bchamoun and offer them to the affected and poorest families, who are generally from the Karantina area. They also reached out to the Lebanese diaspora to secure medicines for the disabled living in the region and those suffering from chronic diseases.

Apart from the crises, in the context of encouraging domestic tourism in Mount Lebanon Governorate, specifically in Kfarmata, which includes famous archeological and natural landmarks, the Health and Environment Committee of the “Kfarmatta Development Charity” organization, which includes the youth of the region of various affiliations, has launched a project to encourage domestic tourism. With funding from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), it rehabilitated the tourist area which was neglected and contaminated and made it a destination for tourists. At the same time, the youth of the area launched a group called "Kfarmata al-Tanazoh" through which they organized activities and visits to archeological sites, in which residents of nearby towns and villages took part. As a result of this activity, the number of visitors from all Lebanese regions to the town of Kfarmata has increased.

Hiba Rameh is one of those who participated in the expedition to explore the areas of Kfarmata, although she did not know the archaeological and natural areas in the region, but the activity in which she participated introduced her to her village more.

For his part, the chairman of the Health and Environment Committee of the “Kfarmatta Development Charity” organization says that the youth have played a key role in raising awareness, stressing that there is a new environmental culture promoted by the current generation in the region, such as hygiene, prevention of hunting and killing small birds, protection of nature from pollution, etc. He explained that combining the experience of the veteran generation with the capabilities and energies of the youth, is crucial for the inclusion of Kfarmata on the tourism map.

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Mar 2021
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