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Bringing communities of women together

New centre opens in the Bekaa supported by RDFL and forumZFD

As a part of the Future Together Now II (FTN II) project, our partner organisation The Lebanese Democratic Women’s Gathering (RDFL) has supported the communities in Baalbek to facilitate activities for dialogue among Syrian and Lebanese women in the area. The activity centre will serve as a hub for such self-organized community-building and empower the women through a variety of trainings and classes.

Opening of centre, group of women sorrounded by balloons
© forumZFD

Within the framework of forumZFD's FTN II project, community activists aim to make a positive change for their communities. The community activists of RDFL supported the working group "الايادي البيضاء" (White Hands) in developing the FTN II community project into a centre aimed at supporting and empowering women in the Al Solh neighbourhood of Baalbek by providing a safe space where they can acquire useful skills and knowledge. While offering such a centre enables individual women to improve their self-esteem and their knowledge on a range of topics, it also serve to bridge divisions between communities. The aim of the centre is to bring together Lebanese and Syrian women, two communities who have had tensions between them.

Woman on stage holding a speech
© forumZFD

The activities

The activities that will be offered in the centre are determined by the needs and wishes of women in the area. They range from sewing and knitting to psychological support and language classes. There will also be awareness sessions on gender-based rights and trainings on conflict sensitivity. Through implementing such activities, the participation of women will reach beyond the centre, and empower them on different levels in their daily life. Due to this goal, الايادي البيضاء (White Hands) gave the centre the name " نساء قادرات", meaning "Capable Women". 

Playback theater actors on stage wearing black
© forumZFD

The opening

On the 9 April, an event marking the opening of the centre took place. It was open to the public and attended by locals from the area, representatives from NGOs working in the area, representatives from the municipality as well as forumZFD and partners. The opening ceremony featured speeches from key individuals involved in the project, as well as a theatrical performance by the Playback Theater Troop 'Red Bridge'.

forumZFD is looking forward to following the progress of the centre and the impact of its activities.

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