An end of a chapter, a start of another

Over the course of six months, the UNDP Lebanese Host Communities Support (LHSP) project has implemented through the “Peace Building in Lebanon” project in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA), a training program to build the capacities of the Social Development Centers’ (SDC) managers, area coordinators, officials and staff members in implementing the Mechanisms for Social Stability (MSS) with the funds of UKDFID.

116 area coordinators and SDC directors and staff from around 55 centers all over Lebanon’s governorates, have benefitted from the coaching and training sessions since November 2016 given their leading role in the development within the Lebanese communities. The first phase of the training program was completed with a closing ceremony on Wednesday April 5th 2017 at Lancaster Hotel in Hazmieh in the presence of the Director General of the Ministry of Social Affairs, UK Ambassador in Lebanon and UNDP representatives; and gathering the 116 MoSA staff from all around Lebanon.  At the end of the day, MOSA SDC officials received certificates for completing the first phase of the Mechanisms for Social Stability training program.

The first phase that was focused on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the SDCs staff in relation to the MSS cycle has ended by equipping them with the needed skills such as critical thinking, conflict mapping and analysis, negotiation and mediation skills and mapping of local actors to understand the conflict dynamics. . Yet, the second phase will start right after - covering the practical side of the implementation of the Mechanisms for Social Stability and will be an opportunity for the SDC staff to practice and use the skills and values they acquired from the training at the community level directly.

“Implementing the Mechanisms for Social Stability (MSS) will become an essential part of the work of the Ministry at the local level around Lebanon” said Judge Abdallah Ahmad, General Director of the Ministry of Social Affairs during the closing ceremony.

UK Ambassador in Lebanon Mr. Hugo Shorter stressed on the continuous support of the United Kingdom to the Mechanisms for Social Stability under the framework of the Lebanese Host Communities Programme jointly implemented by the UNDP and the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Participants had the opportunity to share together the challenges they commonly face in their work at the local level due to the impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon. In addition to that, SDC representatives from different areas in Lebanon shared lessons learned from the past trainings contributing to peace building and social stability in their communities and expressed their enthusiasm to adopt the Mechanisms for Social Stability in their agendas.