In cooperation with War Child Holland and Digital Opportunity Trust, 300 vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian youngsters are provided with a comprehensive package of life skills, psycho-social support, digital literacy skills and career support. SPARK provides the weekly peer-to-peer group sessions on business and entrepreneurial skills, coached by a business professional. These peer-to-peer sessions create a safe zone to discuss aspirations, but also to collectively learn from past failures in the group.
The 100 most motivated and ambitious beneficiaries receive specific assistance in building or growing their own SME, including support in personal development plans, action methodology and deadlines with direct coaching.
The massive influx of Syrian refugees during the past years has affected the delicate social balance in Lebanon, putting pressure on refugee and host communities alike. The effects of this mass influx are increasingly spilling over into the economic, social and political spheres of Lebanon, challenging the economy, leading to income losses and shrinking access to quality public services. Particularly alarming is the situation faced by Syrian and Lebanese adolescents, who represent close to 50% of the affected population in Lebanon.
Tensions within and between communities who are competing for increasing rare resources, have been exacerbated. This is leading to polarisation and increasing isolation of refugee communities who, along with the most vulnerable Lebanese populations, find it problematic to access essential services. Equipping young people with the knowledge and skills needed for adult life, and giving them the space to use them, could have an immediate positive effect on their communities. Income is essential for establishing self-reliance. Creating changes for youth in conflict affected societies and enabling an environment for youth to improve their socioeconomic position, are central in this vision.