Despite the huge complexities of Lebanese social stratification and the sectarian plurality of the country which is composed of 18 religions and which is soaked in a serious political division, the possibility of change seems always existent.
The ongoing tension and intolerance within the Lebanese society reveal a persistent trend of conflict especially after the increased number of the different hosting communities. In addition, the lack of reconciliation and the current political fragmentation created an environment of mistrust and hatred.
This situation has deeply affected youth in Lebanon. Violence and clashes between groups from different communities is reemerging. When exploring and analyzing the obstacles and challenges faced by the youth in Lebanon, it requires little or no effort to realize that at the end of the day everything boils down to the diversity of communities.
Lebanon cannot survive without the sizeable contribution of civil society to youth welfare; nevertheless, it is at the very core of Lebanese society that we can see the problematic symbiosis of the communities’ best. Part of the solution lies in involving youth in diversity management, and social cohesion. Thus, we have decided to take along the tools fair, an International Event, organised each year by the SALTO Resource Centres, (Support for advanced Learning and Training opportunities) to Lebanon, with the aim of creating a dynamic of dialogue and sharing space for networking, interactive learning, exchanging knowledge and experience amongst various Lebanese/ Palestinian youth.
In view of Youth is a resource, a limitless potential that needs to be unleashed & supported to attain full development, the National Tool fair, for the first time in Lebanon (NTFL I) aims at mobilizing, empowering and providing youth with spaces & means to take decisions, experiment and lead their own workshops addressing the topics of diversities and social cohesion through creative tools. The NTF also provides organizations and professionals, working with youth, with a spectrum of good practice and strategies on how to work with them as partners ensuring full and equal participation; it also serves as a training tool to empower youth on how to constructively deal with diversity within their own community.
Plato says: “you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation...” In addition, through play, we do not only learn more about the other, but also about our own selves. … Hence, The National Tools Fair in Lebanon will be followed with a conference on December 7th 2018, that aims to contribute to the overall reflection on youth work in Lebanon with a specific focus on youth engagement linked to social cohesion and their own role to be actors of change as well as the conference will tackle the risks and the opportunities that youth work offers in the multicultural and diverse environment that is Lebanese society. Join us on for the NTFL “Hit the road… break the code” from 29th of June till 1st of July 2018
Justine Abi Saad
Program Manager GIZ/ZFD