CAFOD portraits story of six young women Thursday 28 February 2019

The media team from CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) visited Lebanon in March to cover the story of six young women who are part of the regional Youth Resolve project, funded by the EU Trust Fund MADAD, implemented in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

Elouise Hobbs, CAFOD world news officer, and Eleanor Church, independent filmmaker, met six women living in Koura region and Tripoli. Four Lebanese women spoke about the challenges they encounter as young women growing in Lebanon. Two Syrians living in Tripoli reflected on the difficult situation they are facing as refugees in Lebanon.

Both Lebanese and Syrians have agreed that thanks to Caritas Youth they feel empowered to overcome challenges in their lives. They praised the Youth Resolve project as they have felt that it brought their communities together and they found new friends.

Piatrice, who is 17 years old and lives in Koura, has welcomed the opportunity to speak about the situation in Lebanon:” I was very excited and nervous at the same time when I was asked to do the interview. I believe it is important to share what is happening in my life and what the everyday-life in Lebanon is like. I hope that my story will inspire other people,” she concluded.

The young women’s testimonies were published in the UK media in March and April such as Premier Christianity, the Catholic Universe, Crux and Independent Catholic News.

Theresia Sarkis, a 21-year-old member of Caritas Youth Lebanon, represented the Youth RESOLVE consortium at the Brussels III conference held at EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. Theresia attended the conference along with five other young people from Lebanon and Jordan as part of the Youth Resolve advocacy component. The component aims to empower young people to address policymakers. Theresia presented the challenges that she and her community are facing in Lebanon to EU leaders. Theresia’s participation at the conference was covered by the Independent newspapers in the UK.

Caritas Lebanon is a partner of CAFOD in the Youth Resolve project. The project aims to strengthen social cohesion between the host and refugee communities through joint activities. Caritas Lebanon implements the project through youth committees in three regions – Bekaa, North Lebanon and Mount Lebanon.

In the first year of the project, more than 16,000 people have benefitted from the activities delivered by Caritas youth committees, such as trainings, psychosocial sessions, recreational activities, camps, awareness sessions and quick impact projects. This year Caritas is planning to build on this momentum and continue to serve the local communities. In the following month, Caritas Youth Lebanon will organize many Quick Impact projects, such as cleaning beaches and rehabilitate common spaces. In addition, summer camps will take place in July and August bringing together children from the host and refugee communities.

The Youth Resolve consortium in Lebanon is composed of World Vision Lebanon, CAFOD/Caritas Lebanon and Islamic Relief Lebanon and Generations for Peace. The two-year project has started in September 2017.