Media field visit to Lebanese communities hosting Syrian refugees in North of Lebanon
The United Nations Development Programme organized a field visit to Wadi khaled on Saturday May 18th, in order for the media to get better acquainted with the projects implemented in that area in regards to the “Lebanese Host Communities Support Programme” and “Strengthening Civil Peace” project.
The field trip included a visit to a public school and kindergarten which was provided with the necessary equipment and training in order to cope with growing number of students due to the increasing influx of Syrian refugees. Around 600 students are currently registered in the targeted 8 public schools; as for Wadi Khaled Public School visited by reporters and UNDP delegation, 313 students were registered of which 183 were Syrian. A local school teacher who attended the training offered by UNDP said:” Syrian students are feeling isolated because they are being made fun of and teased. Some Syrian parents are financially unable to send their children on trips or participate in school activities. But the training has helped us teach the children to become closer and get along better than before.”
The next visit was with the mayors of different villages in Wadi Khaled who had received training sessions on how to effectively communicate and deal with the surrounding areas and the local community. Berry Khalaf, mayor of “al Fared” village thanked UNDP for its efforts saying: “After the training we received from UNDP, we are now able to communicate with investing companies to invite them to start development projects in the area and we are also able to define problems and set goals using figures and statistics.”
The following visit was to get an overview of the Construction of a rainwater canal in Al Amayer village. The project benefits around 650 people in the village and more than 15000 people in Wadi Khaled area and generates income for local workers (70% Lebanese and 30% from the Syrian refugees). In addition, UNDP equipped the Municipality of Wadi Khaled with an Agriculture Tractor and a Water Reservoir in order to facilitate access to water, reduce cost of water, enhance the sanitation conditions and improve the livelihood of villagers in targeted poor areas.
The last stop of the visit was at the Youth Cultural Center in Al Amayer Wadi Khaled, where UNDP provided office equipment, training and a conference room for Lebanese and Syrian students ranging between 14 and 25 of age in order to improve their language and computer skills and participate in the different activities and workshop awareness sessions.