The YMCA of Lebanon has been implementing vocational training projects since 1955, with larger interventions beginning in 1978 with funding from the USAID. The agency supported these programs for over twenty years and continues to fund YMCA projects in other areas. More recently, vocational training programs have been implemented in partnership with numerous international development agencies including the European Union, World Bank, and the governments of Australia, Finland, and Mexico.
Funded by the Arab-Urban Development Institute and the World Bank in 2009, this pilot project provided accelerated vocational training services, basic life skills development and business skills enhancement for 150 at-risk youth unable to return to school on the following topics:
Funded by the European Union, the Accelerated Vocational Training Program (AVTP) began in May 2003 and continued through April 2009. The five-year project (plus one-year extension) focused on enhancing the economic and social status of young men and women in the poorest areas of Lebanon, especially the unemployed, school drop-outs, the disabled, and the Palestinian communities. The extension period in Year 6 allowed for a larger number of activities to be performed than proposed in the log frame, thereby increasing the number of project beneficiaries.
At the end of April 2009, a total of 206 accelerated vocational training sessions (146 planned in the 2005 log frame) had been held across Lebanon’s most vulnerable regions and in accordance with the recommendations of project-based market surveys. Training topics and number of sessions are listed in the table below.
The YMCA provided follow-up to the trainings with 14 one-week sessions for attendees of the building skills (5), agricultural mechanics (6), and childcare courses (3). This was a result of the four studies and four update studies conducted as part of the project. The studies focused on the four main regions of implementation.
The YMCA also developed strong working partnerships with 91 local, national, and international organisations, helping them to provide better organised, more relevant and up-to-date training courses. The local partners (and the geographical area coordinators) provided valuable work on the ground: identifying the market needs and organizing simple needs assessments in their geographical areas. Many of these groups are now self-sufficient and implementing new projects.
Despite the unstable political and security climate in Lebanon throughout the programme (2003-2009), which caused occasional delays and/or threats to personal safety, the YMCA succeeded in implementing most of the planned project activities.
In terms of numerical targets, the YMCA surpassed its targets in terms of implemented courses and the number of beneficiaries; it provided effective training sessions that met the needs of targeted groups as well as local market demands. Finally, the project included numerous partner organizations at the local, national, and international level.
Many of the local groups expanded their capacity through implementation and are now operating their own programmes with independent funding.
|Training Category||Sessions||No. Beneficiaries
|New Agricultural Techniques||89||2,232
|Cottage Industry Food Processing||6||208|
|Beauty Care and Hairdressing||1||20|