Community Mobilising in Lebanon
Lebanon’s society is made up by different communities. The conflicting past and an unstable security as well as economic situation have led the people to feel that they are not well represented within the confessional system. A common understanding of how to involve them in working on common goals is missing. Furthermore, Lebanon hosts more refugees per capita than any other country in the world and the increasing number has put serious strains on social stability and the economy. In this challenging context of humanitarian efforts and development strategies, civil society is exposed to increasing tensions while facing a lack of much needed coping mechanisms. As an agent for change, civil society needs to respond appropriately to the complex dynamics to reach a constructive coexistence of different communities in Lebanon.
Therefore, our programme Community Mobilising aims at supporting the Lebanese civil society to work towards improving relationships between different communities, Lebanese as well as non-Lebanese. Establishing inclusive structures for conflict transformation and community development are core elements of the Community Mobilising approach.
From 2014 until 2017, we implemented the Future together Now! I (FTN I) project together with our two partner organisations Basmeh & Zeitooneh and LOST. The project included training of community activists from urban and rural environments who acquired skills in conflict transformation, project management and mediation. Mentored by forumZFD, the community activists subsequently supported community initiatives in their respective communities. These individuals take responsibility for and ownership of assessing and addressing their own needs and conflicts. With our Community Mobilising approach we contribute to the establishment of inclusive mechanisms for conflict transformation, social cohesion and joint decision making.
In September 2017, the Future together Now! II (FTN II) project was launched based on the lessons learned during the FTN I project. In cooperation with our local partners March, RDFL, Ruwwad Al Tanmeya, Shift and WeLove we are currently training and mentoring 16 community activists from various social backgrounds. The community activists are going to implement activities addressing local needs and conflicts in their respective communities monitored by forumZFD.