Under the patronage of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform, Dr. Inaya Ezzeddine, and in collaboration with the Municipality of Kobayat, the municipalities unions of Jurd al Kaitah and Al Joumah, Safadi foundation concluded the "Women Active in Rural Economic Development - WARED" project, in the framework of AFKAR 3 program, funded by the European Union and managed by the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform. 130 women who benefited, for more than 2 years, from trainings and support using the modern technologies in the field of aromatic plants, participated in this event.
The closure event took place at Safadi agricultural development center in Deir Dallum, Akkar. It was attended by AFKAR program manager, Mrs. Youmna Chacar Ghorayeb, representing the Minister of State for Administrative Reform, Mr. Joseph Khattar, representing the Mayor of Kobayat Mr. Abdo Abdo, Jurd al Kaitah union municipalities president, Mr. Abed el Ileh Zakaria, the president of the municipality of Eilat - Al Juma, Mr. Abed el Raouf Mohammad, Director General of "Safadi Foundation" Mr. Dia Kubtan, the beneficiaries and a group of persons involved in the project.
After the Lebanese national anthem followed by a film about the most important phases of the project, Mrs. Ghorayeb said that "the project has an added value, the networking with the municipalities as a reference to the local authority and helps to sustain development after the end of projects. AFKAR 3 focuses on this point, taking into consideration all the supported initiatives ".
She added that "the project has two main components: women as a first target and then the improvement of the agriculture production and processed products. Targeting the women farmers in the Akkar region in rose and aromatic plants investment fields gave them opportunities to find jobs and to improve their living conditions among their families".
In his speech, Mr. Kubtan underlined that "the project played an important role in enhancing the role of women as an effective element in the balanced and sustainable economic development of Akkar," noting that it contributed to build the capacities of women to use modern technologies in producing traditional food products and to increase rural women's income in the aromatic plants sector. It aims, as well, to promote the behaviors of women working in agricultural production, in order to support participatory governance".
Mr. Khattar considered that "the project has succeeded in achieving its economic and social objectives, so that women became partners and equal with men in the process of production in the process of creation and creativity, especially that they pursued different training courses in development, distillation, irrigation, management, agriculture, scientific guidance and field visits. "
Mr. Zakaria added that "it is an historic day for development in Akkar," revealing his "satisfaction regarding the results of the project, and how 130 women from Akkar became leaders in this area, which emphasizes the role of women in our society." He pointed out that "women have made very big efforts and remain throughout the project period with patience and perseverance," hoping that "this project will be the beginning of upcoming projects in which women compete through their productivity with foreign markets." He hoped that "further progress will be made to Akkar society and refused Akkar's classification as the poorest city by fighting poverty internally. Women will promote the change along with their husbands and families to find new job opportunities in Akkar." He thanked all the concerned persons.
One of the benefiiciaires, Mrs. Khaldiyyeh Hussein, shared her experience in the project and added that “ our dreams became true and our income raised”. She was followed by Mrs. Jamileh Daher, from “Kuni Anti “ association, who talked about the “Atayeb al Wared “ project, founded by WARED and about other projects concerning the manufacture of sweets using aromatic plants.
Finally, the attendees visited the Safadi agricultural development center.