SALAM - Food Safety and Environmental Protection for the Fight against Discrimination of the Chaldean Christian
For many families fleeing ISIS persecutions in Syria and above all in Iraq, Lebanon is considered a temporary stopover. But the stay in the country often turns into a limbo that can last several years: thousands of families live in extremely critical psycho-social and economic conditions, while waiting and hoping to be able to reach another country. This is the plight of the Chaldean Christian community living in and around Beirut: 20,000 people, of whom 70% are refugees not recognised by the Lebanese state, who often face a real struggle for survival. With the SALAM project, we want to provide them with respectable living conditions and promote their social inclusion in the hosting community. We do this by offering them tools to develop new knowledge and skills, especially in the environmental field.
Food security, lack of quality educational opportunities, social marginalisation and lack of stimulation for the young generation: these are the main problems that the Chaldean Christian community in Lebanon has to face every day. It is exactly on this front that we have decided to intervene, together with our partners.
With the SALAM project, we want to help reducing discrimination and promote the integration of this minority into the community, focusing on school children and unemployed youths.
Environmental awareness and education
We organise specific training for 60 teachers and workshops for 500 students, to promote an educational process focused on inclusion and solidarity. The activities focus on peace education, environmental education and conscious citizenship topics: it is an opportunity for students, teachers and families from different denominations to discuss and grow.
80 unemployed young people are involved in job orientation courses in the agricultural sector, so that they can develop new knowledge and skills. The training is especially aimed at refugees and women. This represents a concrete opportunity for them not only to support their families, but also to develop their self-confidence and awareness of their role in society. The objective is to counter the social diseas and isolation of the most vulnerable people.
The project also intervenes on the food security: food parcels are distributed to 150 vulnerable families—Lebanese, Iraqi and Syrian Chaldeans—to mitigate the devastating effects of the serious economic situation in Lebanon. At the same time, courses on urban farming and food drying aimed at women will increase the availability of food for families, while promoting the creation of small businesses as a means to increase economic income.
The initiative is funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and implemented in collaboration with the Farah Social Foundation (FSF) and the Chaldean Charitable Society in Lebanon (CCSL).
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