Training Journalists on Refugee Stories

The right storytelling can be a powerful tool in educating and informing the public about the state of the refugees, and foster accountability on the part of the authorities, promoting justice and equity.

In Lebanon, the second round of the “Covering Refugee Stories” workshop has been organised from May 30 to June 3 in cooperation with the Al Jazeera Media Institute.

Fourteen Syrian and Lebanese journalists, of whom 50% were women, learned the necessary tools and skills to cover refugees’ stories in a professional and humane manner. This included advice on how to plan their stories, how to conduct themselves ethically in the field and document human rights abuses.

The opportunity that CFI gave us, to get training on covering refugee issues, allowed us to see from a professional angle the coverage of all human rights issues. For me, the most beautiful part was learning how to humanize the subjects and numbers. During the training workshop, the trainer focused on the strength of the journalist and his ability to change the balance of power, and advocate for refugee issues by covering them properly, emphasizing that the press is the fourth authority in society. The trainer not only gave us information about how to cover refugee issues, but also made us benefit from his field experience, highlighting the challenges that we can face when reporting.

Joelle Abdel Aaal – freelance journalist (Lebanon)

Peacebuilding Led by Women

Giving vulnerable groups the appropriate knowledge at the appropriate time is a form of empowerment. It gives individuals the ability to decide what is best for themselves and their families and can make the difference between being a victim and a survivor.

In Lebanon, Qudra 2 works with the online media initiative Sharika Wa Laken (SWL) to make sure women have access to reliable information aiming to strengthen social cohesion/stability between communities. So far, four informative awareness-raising videos on violence against women and girls, women’s rights and online gender-based violence have been produced and disseminated, reaching more than 35,500 people. Besides articles, infographics, video-graphs and photo stories have been disseminated on different platforms.

SWL supports refugee women and adolescent girls by creating daily content to raise women’s awareness of their rights. They tell women’s stories that speak to every woman and girl, highlighting their needs, and sharing their experiences with a message to reassure women’s presence and protection on online and offline platforms.

In its capacity as a dependable organization to whom women and girls can turn when in need of assistance, SWL also disseminates resources that can help people overcome injustices. In addition to listening to their suffering, SWL directs women to other reputable organizations that offer economic, social, legal, and psychiatric help.

While Lebanon is going through an economic and social crisis, community demands are growing while poverty is expanding, leading to conflicts across communities.

In its work, SWL emphasizes how important social cohesion and peacebuilding are in hard times for both refugees and host communities and how important women’s roles are in this area.

Painting the Walls with Their Hopes and Dreams!

100 children worked together to paint a massive mural in Doueir Public School in Lebanon. The mural allowed the children to express their feelings, hopes and dreams for the future. In parallel, our local partner Mouvement Social also conducted various activities to keep the children engaged in social activities and support them in releasing stress and other negative emotions.

Before the event, the children participated in a briefing session with a team of artists from the organisation Artolution, guiding the children during the painting process. During the briefing session, the children expressed their connection and attachment to their families, homes, and dreams for the future through drawings.

The mural reflects the children’s beliefs by showcasing what is most important to them.

Expertise France organised the event in close partnership with Mouvement Social, Doueir Social Development Centre (affiliated with the Ministry of Social Affairs), Doueir Public school, Doueir municipality and the Artolution team.

Women and Children Find Meaning in Arts & Crafts

In Lebanon, the Qudra 2 programme reinforces the national protection system by supporting the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) and improving the protection of vulnerable populations among refugees and host communities.

While mothers were busy making the most delicious chocolate and sweets for their children, kids enjoyed drawing, painting, puppet shows and creating “recycled art”.

Our local partners, Tabitha Relief and Development and Expertise France, in close coordination with the Ministry of Social Affairs and its Social Development Centres, continue to provide Arts & Crafts sessions to vulnerable children and women living in the regions of Choueifat (Aley), Baysour (Aley) and Chhim (Chouf), Mount Lebanon.

“Recycled arts”, drawing, painting, and puppet shows boost children’s creativity while they learn from each other. The sessions are designed to expand their imagination, explore their emotions, and develop life skills such as problem-solving, self-expression, and identifying their abilities and interests. Children gain confidence by communicating and uncovering their hidden talents as they learn to express who they are.

Opposite to where the young artists are working, you see women engaged in sweet and chocolate making and music therapy or participating in gardening sessions and loom knitting sessions. Especially for sweets and chocolate making, a safe space is provided for women to gain knowledge and improve their skills to enhance access to income-creating opportunities.

One of the 14 women who participated in the sweets and chocolate making has started her own business with her signature healthy recipes.

Qudra 2, with its partners, supports women to improve their self-awareness, reduce their stress and build self-esteem that will all contribute to improving their emotional well-being and economic opportunities.

Tomorrow Will be Better – Psychosocial Support Sessions give Hope to Children and Restore their Self-Confidence

He is no longer afraid of people around him and playing with other children. Alhamdulillah, I see him happy,” says Ibrahim’s mother.

Ibrahim is a 10-year-old Syrian boy whose life has been affected by a conflict older than himself. He lives with his family in an informal tent settlement in the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon. When he joined the first group of children who participated in the psychosocial support sessions (PSS), he was reluctant to participate, play or draw something as his physical disability made these activities more difficult.

With time, however, Ibrahim’s peers encouraged him to join the others in play. They showed him how to draw, write and use colouring pencils. After several sessions, Ibrahim loved participating in the sessions. He is now self-confident, social, and no longer afraid of others!

Ibrahim’s mother says: “I am very proud of my son’s progress. His life has changed completely. These sessions had a remarkable and positive impact on his personality. He is no longer afraid of people around him and playing with other children. Alhamdulillah, I see him happy.”

The sessions provided in Social Development Centres are tailored to the children. Play and recreational activities provide opportunities for personal and social development. At the same time, children learn about topics such as their rights and public and personal hygiene through interactive activities and discussions.

In cooperation with our local partners Terre des Hommes, Abaad and Afel Liban, Qudra 2 provides children with a safe space to interact with their peers, express themselves, deal with their emotions and release their negative feelings. In times of crisis this is particularly important when many families’ – especially children’s – vulnerabilities, increase.

Clear Planning and Evidence for Protection Activities in Lebanon

As part of our partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA), Qudra 2 has provided a series of training courses on Result-Based Management (RBM), Project Cycle Management (PCM) and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) for the staff of MoSA.

The Qudra 2 programme and MoSA identified essential training needs through a survey in July 2021. The training aims to provide 65 Social Development Centre (SDC) and MoSA staff with a comprehensive understanding of RBM as a project management approach, including planning, monitoring and evaluation. The trained staff can adopt this approach in their daily work at MoSA and its affiliated centres.

In Lebanon, Qudra 2 aims to strengthen local and national protection systems and service delivery capacities to improve the level of protection of vulnerable Syrian and Lebanese communities.

Recreational Activities

Qudra 2, together with its local NGO partners, supports women and children with recreational activities.

Local NGO partners Abaad and Terre des Hommes, in coordination with Majdel Anjar Social Development Centre (affiliated to MoSA), organised a recreational event targeting vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian women, men and children from the community.

The activities were arranged in Majdel Anjar Public Garden and saw significant participation from residents from surrounding villages. The activities for men and women focused on spreading key messages and awareness around Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Self-Care and Self-Empowerment. The activities for children were centred around children’s rights, personal hygiene tips and COVID-19 prevention tips.

In Lebanon, the Qudra 2 programme focuses on reinforcing the national protection system by supporting the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) and improving the level of protection of vulnerable refugees and host community members.

Refugee Story Coverage

CFI, in cooperation with Al-Jazeera Training Center, organized a workshop on ‘Refugee Story Coverage’ from 26-29 September 2021. Eighteen journalists were selected from governorates of Amman, Zarqa, Ajloun, Mafraq and Irbid.

The training aimed at introducing the concept of Refugees’ Journalism and its importance. The following topics were presented as the main pillars of Refugees’ Journalism: legal classification of refugees, refuge and immigration laws, sympathetic journalism, proper terminology, logistics needs and safety measurements in the field. Additionally, the preparation procedures for the production of refugees’ stories, and the principles of conducting interviews with them, were discussed thoroughly. It also stressed the importance of journalistic moralities, ethics along the exclusion of discrimination and hatred speech against refugees.

It is crucial that journalists and media professionals are able to present and cover all issues that arise in vulnerable communities in a professional, transparent and unbiased manner. Media has a major role in highlighting all issues that concern refugees that already exist or might arise.  Professional coverage of refugees’ stories will impact the lives of refugees, and make their voices heard. It is also a method of communication between host communities and refugees that will prevent any troubles or miscommunication between both sides.

This training is an explicit example on integrating Syrian and Jordanian journalists to enhance social cohesion that is a vital priority for the advancement of societies,” said Thouraya Ma’abrah.

It is essential to equip journalists and media workers with the proper skills and tools to produce high quality refugees’ stories:

This training is of an added value, it enriched my knowledge with possible means for covering refugees’ stories, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Said Asma’ Al-Jaber.

The trainees have acquired new knowledge and skills through the training, such as the ability to identify issues and cases that are related to refugees. They were also able to learn producing sympathetic stories, and humanizing refugees’ stories.

I gained more information about refugees’ issues, and am now more aware of the mechanisms and principles that a journalist should apply while working on a story.” said Ibrahim Shahin.

Social Workers Receive Child Protection Training

Fourteen social workers attended the Standard Operational (SOP) Training jointly conducted by the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) master trainers and Expertise France. All the social workers are case managers in the Social Development Centres (SDCs) affiliated to MoSA, which currently implement the Psychosocial Support (PSS) activities within the framework of the Qudra 2 programme.

The training focused on promoting and implementing protection measures and highlighted practical examples in Case Management following the National SOP guidelines for children’s case management.

This training is part of a series of upcoming events designed to develop knowledge and reinforce the service delivery capacity of the Ministry’s personnel, including social workers. The capacity development initiatives will further strengthen the local and national protection systems.

In Lebanon, Qudra 2 focuses on reinforcing the national protection system by supporting the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) and improving the protection of vulnerable populations from Syria and Lebanon.

Additional online training on positive parenting is offered for the Ministry’s social workers and the NGO partner’s staff.

The training focuses on #PositiveParenting practices and their effects on #ChildDevelopment for the following age groups, 0 to 5 years and 6 to 11 years old. The training also incorporated methods to deal with issues affecting teenagers aged 12-17 years and develop appropriate positive solutions.

Discussions on how negativity and stress at home affect adolescents’ physical, emotional, and psychological development informed parental strategies to help children behave non-aggressively.

Finally, Parents Support Groups were introduced as a tool to facilitate the exchange of experiences relating to children and family members in the home and help generate solutions to ongoing problems.

Lebanese and Syrian populations will benefit from PSS and other Qudra 2 services that aim to support protection measures for beneficiaries’ self-development and wellbeing.

Handover of Baysour Social Development Centre

Following the rehabilitation works completed within the framework of the Qudra 2 programme, the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) and Expertise France jointly organized the handover ceremony of Baysour Social Development Centre (#SDC) located in Aley district, in partnership with the local NGO partner Tabitha Relief & Development.

The handover event kicked off in the presence of the programme participants and was followed by a tour of the SDC to observe the Psycho-Social Support (#PSS) activities provided by Tabitha and the SDC to women and children from vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian communities living in Baysour.

The Baysour SDC is part of six selected SDCs that were rehabilitated and equipped with teh support of the Qudra 2 programme. The five other rehabilitated SDCs are located in Choueifat, Chhim, Marjaayoun, Tebnin and Zgharta, where important renovations were carried out or are ongoing.

In #Lebanon, the Qudra 2 programme focuses on reinforcing the national protection system by supporting the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) and improving the level of protection of #vulnerable populations from #Syrian and #Lebanese.