Caritas Lebanon Launched a Training for Employment Model program
With the support of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and in cooperation with Caritas Switzerland and Caritas Denmark, Caritas Lebanon launched on Thursday 7 April, the “Training for Employment Model” program, during a press conference at Sin El Fil, in the presence of the Program Coordinator at Caritas Denmark Ms. Tess Toro, Head of International Department at Caritas Denmark Cecilia Winter, Program Director at Caritas Switzerland Sarah Omran, Program Officer at Caritas Switzerland Reem Bou Chahine, President of Caritas Lebanon Father Michel Abboud, Vice President Dr. Nicolas El Hajjar, Executive Director Mr. Gilbert Zouwein, members of the Board and heads of Caritas Lebanon departments, USAID and UNDP representatives in Lebanon, journalists and media.
Father Abboud welcomed the attendees, and said: “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch”, this is how Jesus Christ called his disciples to work and seek their livelihood. Therefore, Caritas Lebanon's assistance is not limited to financial aids, but it also provides opportunities that allow people to invest their energies and gifts given by the Lord, and this is the goal of the project we are launching today, on the eve of Caritas Lebanon’s fiftieth jubilee, and in light of the socio-economic and even existential crisis that Lebanon is witnessing, which prompted more than 200,000 highly skilled young men and women, to leave the country during the last seven months.” Father Abboud asked: “Who do we work for? And whom we work with? This new project will contribute to training and creating new job opportunities for 660 young people and about 100 small and medium-sized companies within Beirut, Mount Lebanon and Bekaa, so they remain in their land.”
He continued: "But this does not mean that Caritas is not concerned with other regions of Lebanon, but we need the donors’ support to be able to reach everyone”.
Father Abboud thanked Caritas Denmark, Caritas Switzerland and the Novo Nordisk Foundation for their support and cooperation in order to make this project succeed, in addition to 80 other projects that Caritas is working on, such as the Baladi project, which was implemented in cooperation with the USAID, with a value of about $15 million, and which lasted for ten years. As well as the continuous cooperation with Caritas Switzerland on the HAND IN HAND project, which aims to rehabilitate houses owned by Caritas and rented to people with limited income or those without income. Also, we cooperated with the UNDP on a long-term development project which targeted a large number of regions, and with GIZ, a development project, which aims at investing talents, developing capabilities and creating job opportunities.”
Abboud concluded:” We appeal to all donors and embassies to cooperate with us. We extend our hand to them and put all our experience, capabilities, technologies, work team, history, present and future, with the aim of cooperating together and moving forward in order to help everyone without exception, as we cannot do this alone. We extend our hand to work together, and with the other hand we give."
Cecilia Winter, Head of the International Department of Caritas Denmark, expressed her happiness to be with the Caritas Lebanon family on the occasion of launching this program related to sustainable employment for youth, saying: "We have worked with Caritas Switzerland and Denmark and the Novo Nordisk Foundation to improve conditions for young people in neighboring countries. Today, we are launching this project in cooperation with Caritas Lebanon for Lebanese youth and Syrian refugees alike. This project will last for two years, and we will repeat the experiment if it gives fruitful results."
Sarah Omran, Director of Programs at Caritas Switzerland, referred to the continuous and fruitful cooperation with Caritas Lebanon, and stressed the continuation of working together to restore Lebanon to what it was before.
In turn, Joseph Bou Assi, Head of the Development and Livelihoods Department, explained the mechanism of implementing this project, which will include 660 young men and women between 18 and 30, and how to register and benefit from it.