Easing tensions in Lebanon: Training supports local NGO

International Alert has trained NGO workers in Lebanon to improve their understanding of the causes of conflict and to promote tolerance and diversity as part of our Citizens for Change project.

The project is preparing civil society professionals to deliver training sessions to their local communities. Our latest training of trainers supported an NGO called UTOPIA in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli to learn how to analyse and address what drives conflict and instability in that region.

The session, held in Tripoli from 23–25 January, was designed with UTOPIA to respond to the specific needs of the trainers and local communities. It tackled how to address issues relating to power, discrimination and inequality. The training also covered how to operate in a conflict-prone environment and design projects that reduce tensions and boost social stability.

"The most important part of the training was when all of the participants had the chance to apply this knowledge by facilitating sessions for our colleagues, so we can learn from each other," said Kazem, a 25-year-old trainer.

The Citizens for Change project is making communities in Tripoli, including the Syrian refugee community, more resilient to conflict.

"Participants appreciated learning new skills, practicing different approaches to conflict, and deepening their understanding of issues their communities are facing," said our Head of Training and Learning Vesna Matovic.

"Their commitment to social cohesion and working on tensions between Syrian and Lebanese communities in Tripoli is high and we need to support their activism and continue to build their capacity to engage and work strategically in their communities."

We will also support UTOPIA when they train 35 young people in how to map their neighbourhoods.

Photo: © International Alert