Budget: € 7 million
Date of project: 2020 - 2023
Implementing Partner: World Vision Deutschland
Children, adolescents and youth in Lebanon face a multitude of interrelated challenges and barriers which prevent meaningful social, community and civic engagement.
Lebanese, Palestinian, and Syrian youth therefore often feel disconnected from their communities. The increasing socio-economic hardship, protracted displacement, social tensions and “the violence of exclusion” expose many youth to the risk of turning to negative coping strategies. Deprived of meaningful perspectives for their future, many youth and children face risks such as child or forced marriage, child labour, human trafficking, radicalization, sexual and gender-based violence, recruitment into armed conflict, work in the illegal sector or forced and irregular migration. These harmful perspectives not only risk affecting them personally, but also tend to negatively influence perceptions of youth – and especially young refugees - by their communities. Such stereotypes and stigma are only adding more pressure to an already tense situation created by the dire economy and rising unemployment.
Moreover, youth are often perceived as a burden within their communities and society which hinders any possible access to decision-making mechanisms at a local and national level. The situation for young Syrians is even more challenging due to their legal and social status in Lebanon. The country faces an increasing risk of losing a generation of vulnerable Lebanese youth and young Syrians to despair, poverty, exclusion, social conflict, and extremism.
However, young people across the country are starting to informally organise themselves through think-tanks, NGOs and civil organizations to engage in political and social discussions. A move towards ‘active and responsible citizenship’ is starting to emerge and has strengthened since the start of the uprising and demonstrations in mid-October 2019, and the political and socio-economic crisis which unfolded. One of the issues raised by the Lebanese youth is the need to become more actively engaged in decision-making.
Building on a first intervention and lessons learnt from that first phase, this second phase of the programme “Youth RESOLVE” aims to support youth in their increased participation on local governance, decision-making processes and social stability, mainly through the support to the Youth Committees established within the project.