The ultimate goal is to create sustainable peace, so that people who fled their homes can return. But while they’re waiting, refugees from both sides of a conflict are often crammed together in a camp or shelter with not enough food, water, or basic services like education. On top of that, citizens of the host country must compete with these refugees over employment opportunities and government resources. Tensions arise, and we build their skills to resolve the issues constructively.
Ibrahim, Obaida, Abdelkader and Mohammad show how Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian children, teachers, and animators are playing an active role in effecting positive change in their communities through the Rainbow of Hope project.
Between October 2013 and May 2015, Search – Lebanon implemented a UNHCR funded project that aimed to mitigate tensions and improve social stability in 11 different communities across southern Lebanon and in the northern city of Tripoli. With the support of local partner organizations, Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities were engaged in a process that developed cooperative community-led solutions through dialogue.
After the end of the project, Search – Lebanon produced a case study to assess the project in its entirety, to highlight the findings, lessons learned and best practices in its efforts to strengthen social cohesion through the creation of local response mechanisms. The report begins by explaining the contextual background and by introducing the Common Ground Approach and then looks at the initial conflict analysis, the theory of change, and the project’s activities. The case study finds four main lessons learned that have emerged from the project’s implementation and evaluation: the approach should be holistic; the approach needs to be community driven and flexible; local initiatives should build on existing structures and networks; capacity building, outreach, and visibility components should be integrated and fine-tuned according to the participants’ and communities’ needs.
Devastating war has raged in Syria for over five years. It’s brought the Syrian people to their knees. Stark images of innocent young refugees ripped from a happy childhood are seared in our minds and hearts. Inside Syria, opposition groups splinter and outside parties get involved; the mire […]