Since the election of the new board on the 22nd of November 2015, MEPI LAA started a new strategy that aimed to answer more the needs of the members and NGOs that are part of the Alumni.
The new board members for 2014 â€“ 2017 are:
Mr. Youssef Sfeir (President)
Mrs. Dolly Choucair (Vice-President)
Together We Grow Project:
Under the patronage of H.E. David Hale, US Ambassador to Lebanon, MEPI LAA organized an Open Space Forum (OSF) entitled â€œLebanese Civil Society: Challenges & Opportunities “in coordination with specialized consultants since this was a new concept in Lebanon. The forum gathered 60 Lebanese Non
Governmental Organizations, from the 20th to the 22nd February 2015, in Bethania, Harissa and assembled more than 80 active Civil Society leaders from across Lebanon; they strived to work together, share their experiences and knowledge and agree on a future action plan; they were able to identify their common priorities, objectives, opportunities and to generate creative ideas for the development of the Lebanese civil society. The forum was conducted using the Open Space Technology.
OSF is part of the â€œTogether We Growâ€ project funded by MEPI DC, which aims to support MEPI alumni in promoting and engaging in civic involvement at the community level. Moreover, it encourages MEPI alumni members to translate their capacity, advocate and engage in projects and promote positive change in their communities.
Mr. Erik Ryan â€“ MEPI Coordinator in Lebanon â€“ attended the forum and participated along with the dedicated social activists and leaders.
Following the event, an e book of proceeding was generated and sent to all participants and the reports were transmitted to a strategic consultant who prepared a strategy that provides a strong roadmap to the Lebanese Civil Society, and sustainability for MEPI LAA.
On the 14th of March 2014; MEPI LAA organized a Community Day of Service for more than 100 Lebanese & Syrian Refugee Children in Dahr El Ein, Koura District, North Lebanon in collaboration with UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Lebanon, and Caritas Migrant Center, Koura; during which Lebanese & Syrian refugee children participated in recreational and educational activities. The latter included a childrenâ€™s puppet show that promotes coliving and educates children on personal hygiene. The event was a success as the Syrian Refugee Children got the opportunity to get away from the camps and enjoy a day with other children.
MEPI LAA organized an Alumni Gathering with the Founding Members of MEPI LAA on the 28th of March 2015. The gathering was an opportunity for the incumbent Executive Board members to meet the founding members, and discuss the opportunities presented for MEPI LAA as an organization, the goals, objectives and vision of the NGO that were envisioned by the founding members.
On the 1st of April 2015, MEPI LAA organized the Easter Community Day of Service at the SOS Childrenâ€™s Village in Bhersaf, Metn Area, to provide children with â€œEaster Themedâ€ activities amongst which they participated in an egg hunt as well as eggsâ€™ colouring for the occasion.
Alumni In Municipalities project â€œAIMâ€ launched in April 2015
The aim of â€œAIMâ€ was to increase the impact of civil societyâ€™s work and to promote change at the core; we targeted alumni and university youths to build their capacities in municipal work and soft skills to enhance and promote collaborations between local NGOs, focusing on coalition to create a strong network amongst local NGOs and municipalities.
The project was divided into 4 phases all along a period of 8 months:
- Training of the participants on the following topics:
- Municipal Law & Community Development Projects
- Campaign Management
- Media & Journalism
- Public Speaking & Negotiating Skills
- A”TOT” for 10 selected youth participants
- Five selected NGOs participated in an intensive training to enhance their skills in the following topics: Municipal Law & Community Development Projects; Campaign Management; Media & Journalism; Public Speaking & Negotiating Skills; Action Plan Setting for Community Day Event
- Although the target was 50 NGOâ€™s members (5 from the selected NGOs) to work together on a community day service, more than 200 participants joined the activity entitled: â€œYouth Role in Local Developmentâ€ in collaboration with AEC (Ain wa Zein Environmental Club) and Al Abadiyeh Club with the aim to discuss causes and effects of the garbage crisis and how to decentralize the waste management sector in order to end up with the least amount of damages.
This environmental day was characterized by the networking and interaction between participants and initiators, and it was an opportunity and space where the public sector represented by municipalities, NGOs and individual met and discussed various topics.Moreover, MEPI LAA received 60.000 waste bags from SANITA Company (Approx Value= 6500$).We distributed 15000 bags during the community day event and the rest to some municipalities of the South, North, Mount-Lebanon and other areas.On the 28th of November 2015, MEPI LAA organized a closing event in Hazmieh Municipality â€“ one of AIM project partners â€“ where we highlighted on AIMâ€™s achievements and distributed the certificates to the participants.
For a better relationship with the alumnus, MEPI LAA founded the members committee to follow up with the members on interesting issues and listen to their concerns for the benefit of the alumni. When the committee was launched, 75 members were registered, now we have 93 members registered and 25 applications in process and we are working to increase the number to reach as much as we can from the eligible 565 members.
A series of activities were held to communicate with the members: dinners, networking events, gathering and exchange of Experience workshops.
It was an opportunity to listen to the needs of the alumnus and meet people from different regions in Lebanon who are interested in MEPI activities by sharing with us their suggestions, concerns and recommendations.
Our first goal in 2016 is to increase the registered members and work on connecting them and activate the network.
Fund raising committee:
The fund raising committee coordinated with Sanita and received a donation of 60.000 trash bags that were distributed to municipalities in the South, North and Mount-Lebanon and a part was distributed to NGOs participating in the community day of service under AIM project.
The new board created a media committee to follow up on media issues and worked on a media strategy to increase the visibility of MEPI LAA using the traditional media tools but focusing more on social media platforms to spread the message and communicate with the members and increase the outreach of MEPI LAA.
Our new strategy targeted to empower the communications team by encouraging them to attend media training workshops at Digital companies and to participate in media activities and conferences in order to network and exchange experiences and benefit from othersâ€™ expertise.
The communications team introduced MEPI LAA programs and activities to Media outlets producers and decision makers hoping to create a media network and a space for the ALUMNI to express and share their achievements in the media.
For the first time, MEPI LAA activitiesâ€™ programs and beneficiaries were featured in most of TV channels, radio stations, newspapers and other media entities in Lebanon in addition to the main online platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube…) that we are using as essential tools for communications and networking with other NGOs and activists all over LEBANON and abroad.
With the support of MEPI Alumnus, we released audiovisual materials for each program and activity including testimonies of beneficiaries (all shared on our YouTube and social media)
-The two main campaigns that created a buzz on our Social Media platforms were:
â€œAim project, Together we are strongerâ€, and the first of its kind event in Lebanon:
â€œOpen Space Technology conferencesâ€ that gathered NGOs from all over Lebanon.
In December 2015, we launched a new website that responds to users’ needs including a space to beneficiaries and members (www.mepilaa.org)