The SPARK team in Lebanon organised four Leadership Assessment Workshops for students during the course of April 2017. A total of 75 students attended the workshops.

The Leadership Assessment Workshop is the third stage in the selection process of the Scholarship Awarding Programme carried out by SPARK to provide an opportunity for Syrian and Palestinian students to receive education and rebuild the future of their countries.

It is a full-day workshop for students to engage in activities that focus on identifying leadership skills in them. The workshops are facilitated by trainers, who are previously trained by SPARK. The day starts with an ‘Ice breaker’ session to introduce SPARK to the students and them to each other. Then the students answer some questions about problems in their host community and are guided to find potential solutions to them in groups. The activities are designed to assess the level of their involvement in their community currently and in the future.

“I want to open my own company”

Jacob Obeid, a Lebanese participant, was expecting the workshop to be “similar to a lecture where SPARK would introduce the students to the programme and the organisation as a whole” he says. However, the Lebanese student, who is currently pursuing a management degree at the Arab Open University in Beirut, was “very much surprised with how the day unfolded”. “I learned so much about human interactions in the workshop and how these human interactions can influence the results” he says and adds “listening to others and understanding their view can make a big difference. I now understand the value of compromise in conflicts.”

When asked why he chose a management degree, Jacob explains: “I chose to study Business Management, because I have always dreamed of opening my own company. In fact, when I was 18, I opened a small shop in Lebanon. It was one of those shops that sell everything for no more than a few dollars; we call them the “One Dollar Shop” in Lebanon. I absolutely loved it, but unfortunately I wasn’t skilled enough to keep it running. Now, I hope I will be better equipped and will be able to run a business in the near future.”

“I want to help rebuild Syria”

Shouaa Jaddouh is from Syria. She is another participant in the Leadership Assessment Workshop. She is “very pleased” to take part in such an assessment, meet the Lebanon SPARK team and to get to know her fellow students. “I learned a lot about group work and the importance of communication” she describes her experience and says: “being able to listen and be open to new ideas and perspectives is crucial base for good communication.”

Shouaa is studying Business Administration at the Imam Ouzaii University in northern Lebanon. She also lives in the same region in north. Along with her university studies, Shouaa volunteers with Save the Children organisation. “My volunteer work gives me fulfilment and adds value to my life” She says and adds “I hope one day I will be able to work for an international humanitarian organisation and help rebuild Syria.”