From Beirut with love

This week I started with the fieldwork phase of my graduation project for my Commercial Economics bachelor’s degree in Beirut, Lebanon.

First of all, I’d like to mention how calm and normal life seems here. That is something you won’t expect when you’re used to always hear bad news about this region. (Mum and dad will be pleased to hear this – everything okay here!)

That there is no mass hysteria is surprising because Lebanon is hosting the biggest number of refugees per capita in the world. One in three persons in Lebanon is a refugee. (When counting people who sought refuge from Palestine, it even goes as far as one in two persons.)

If that would be the case in the Netherlands… Let’s imagine 8 million refugees on 17 million Dutchies. It would lead to mass chaos, broken public services and huge Geert Wilders rallies with people throwing eggs at refugee centers or even worse.

Just like everywhere in the world, Lebanese people are also afraid to lose their jobs to refugees and if their children can still get a place in overcrowded schools. In Lebanon this is really happening – and the country will need help to tackle the issues that comes with being one of the main refugee hosting countries in the world.

So – my project is all about education. Education is the key to sustainability, livelihood skills and social interactions. The NGO I’m graduating with is franchising a social-financial curriculum which has proven to help children and youth to explore, learn and work together all over the world.

During my stay in Lebanon I will speak with potential partners on how the most vulnerable children can be reached – Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian.

First meetings
This week I had very productive meetings with local organisations, such as Najda-Now. This organisation is doing great work in places where children are difficult to reach, such as Shatilla and the Beqaa.

My previous post got me some people asking how they can help, which is awesome! Of course it is possible to help in lots of ways. Maybe you can advocate at the company you work at to work out a fund(raising) plan. Or do you have lots of followers and are able to help me share messages with more people? There are lots of ways to help – please feel free to contact me and we can brainstorm together!

I`ll keep you guys updated on the progress! Let me know if anything isn’t clear in this post as I’m not a blogger/vlogger/snapchat-storyboardmaster.

With love,