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German Ambassador visits SHIFT Social Innovation Hub in Tripoli

An opportunity to present CPS projects to Georg Birgelen

On Wednesday 7th November the German Ambassador to Lebanon Georg Birgelen visited SHIFT Social Innovation Hub, one of the partner organisations of the Future Together Now II project (FTNII) of forumZFD in Tripoli. Since Mr. Birgelen assumed office in September 2018, he visited projects financed by the German government in North Lebanon for the first time. He met with partners to learn more about the communities served.

Ambassador visits SHIFT Groupfoto
© SHIFT

German Ambassador begins his visit in Tripoli

To welcome the German Ambassador, SHIFT and  forumZFD team members lined up in front of the Centre in Tripoli, awaiting the Ambassador's arrival. After the warm welcome, the organisations and the Ambassador went on a tour of the newly refurbished Centre.

German Ambassador visits SHIFT presentation
© SHIFT

Shifts Centre in Tripoli

The "SHIFT - Social Innovation Hub", an incubator for social change, opened in Tripoli in 2015. In proximity to  “Syria Street” Shift office was not chosen at random. Between 2011 and 2014, the street was the confrontation line that separated two neighbourhoods during several rounds of clashes: The Sunni neighbourhood of Qobbeh and Bab at Tabbaneh and the predominantly Alawite neighbourhood of Jabal Mohsen. The building that Shift chose for the Centre is still marked with bullet holes from the violence. Nowadays, however, “Syria Street” symbolises a cohesive  process that is taking place in the area through the work of different NGOs, among them not only Shift, but two other partners of forumZFD, Ruwwad and March.

 

SHIFT the Social Innovation Hub

SHIFT was founded by a group of volunteers in reaction to the security plan that was implemented in Tripoli in 2014 to put an end to the clashes. SHIFT seeks to transform the local communities by creating a positive, diverse, dynamic and harmonious momentum through a “space” for inspiration and learning. The NGO wishes to have a sustainable socio-economic impact on the communities of concern. Since September 2017, SHIFT and forumZFD have been cooperating in implementing projects and initiatives in the programme area Community Mobilising in the project Future Together Now! II (FTN II). The project aims to establish processes for social cohesion, joint decision-making and non-violent conflict transformation and participatory development within communities.

German Ambassador visits SHIFT presentation II
© SHIFT

Presentation of CPS projects to the Ambassador

During the Ambassador’s tour, SHIFT, forumZFD and GIZ-CPS, who will soon mount a media project with SHIFT, were able to present their projects and ideas to the Ambassador so that he could get an understanding of their work and the overall CPS approach. Each project had its own representative to explain the different strategies behind the project and the project itself. Bourak Omar a community activist from SHIFT presented the FTN II project. Georg Birgelen showed high interest by asking many questions regarding the approach adopted in the FTN II project. Topics such as the dealing with high numbers of community members and understanding community needs were discussed. All in all the day offered a great opportunity to give a broader understanding of SHIFT, forumZFD, GIZ-CPS's and CPS work in general.

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