AFKAR program team is following the administrative procedures required to conclude AFKAR 3 projects (funded by the European Union) in its second part. After reviewing the final NGO reports, the 13 projects were approved and ratified. The latest one was FISTA project report, in partnership with Restart center.
FISTA project is entitled “Inspiration, Empowerment, and Change: Increasing the Capacity of Disadvantaged Communities in Northern Lebanon”. It has been carried out in and around Tripoli for 30 months. It aimed to improve the economic and social situation in northern Lebanon, mainly targeting women, youth and children exposed to armed conflict. One of its most important outputs was the establishment of a follow up and monitoring committee, from which a protocol was issued, including strategies and principles for the protection of children, exposed to or engaged in armed conflict, based on general international standards.
In order to establish these measures and standards for the protection of children within the dangerous areas in Tripoli, FISTA center organized a set of panel discussions in which participated representatives of ministries, of the municipality of Tripoli and the municipal police, several lawyers within the region, as well as local NGOs and international organizations. These sessions focused on the role and responsibility of stakeholders in providing protection guarantees to children, especially those with special needs, who are at risk of engaging in armed conflict. The activities were completed by training sessions, involving about 100 stakeholders, on the rights and principles of child protection and international security standards that guarantee their lives. It also highlighted the mechanisms and strategies required to reduce their exploitation and the risk of their involvement in armed conflict. As well, they presented ways to detect cases and procedures necessary to transfer them to the appropriate centers. The above mentioned “monitoring and follow up committee” was issued from this activity. It aimed to formulate an appropriate strategy to protect the target group, to monitor and follow up the implementation of this mechanism and transfer to the appropriate centers.
In an effort to improve the economic and social situation in northern Lebanon, the project provided psychological and mental health services to more than 600 vulnerable women, youth and children affected by armed conflict. It also aimed to create new economic income opportunities for about 100 women and young people, with a special focus on young people with special needs, through a set of life skills and vocational training sessions and workshops. By this way, the project promoted the capacity of seven NGOs and a large number of schools. It also strengthened the parents of children capacities, affected by armed conflict as well as the persons allowed to apply the law, and consolidated the communication between them.
It is to note that FISTA center for specialized education is a non governmental humanitarian organization founded in 1989 which deals with children adolescents adults with special needs and their families in order to provide them a supportive educational environment and to ensure their integration and involvement in all aspects of society. It also aims the persons working in the specialized education field, as educators, teachers, specialists and contributes to the development of their professional skills.
As for the Restart center for rehabilitation of victims of violence and torture, founded in 1996, it is a non-governmental organization specialized in the rehabilitation of victims of violence and torture. Its mission is to provide rehabilitation for survivors of torture and trauma and their families.