Within the framework of their emergency responses to the Syrian refugees’ crisis in Lebanon, UNESCO and Caritas Lebanon inaugurated a Community Centre in the Northern city of Qobayat, Akkar, Northern Lebanon.
This Youth Information Centre, established under the Finland-funded project and managed by trained volunteers from local communities, will benefit vulnerable Lebanese and displaced Syrian youth and children in a relatively neglected area. While special sessions and activities will be dedicated to women empowerment, the Centre will also contribute to the social inclusion of youth by providing them with opportunities for learning, access to information and expressing themselves freely, and acquiring skills through non-formal education. Child-friendly spaces are also created for the out of school children.
Equipped with a library and a computer lab, this Community Centre will give access to refugees and host communities to a wide range of educational tools and resources such as books as well as spaces to work and study. Internet would ensure the beneficiaries’ rights of freedom of expression and free access to information, while it would also allow them to better connect and interact with the world.
Through its multiple facilities, the Centre will have a positive impact on the productivity of children, students and youth, building on and supporting ongoing educational projects in the region, and creating safe spaces for extra-curricular work, basic education skills, psychological support and social cohesion. The Centre also plays a key role in reducing tensions and encouraging socialization between refugees and the host community. Around 20,000 persons, mainly women and youth, will benefit from services provided by this Information Centre.