The role of youth in the development of the Bourj Hammoud area was the topic of a workshop followed by a cleaning campaign, organized by JMP–L, in cooperation with the Municipality of Bourj Hammoud, on July 10, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m.
Held in the Jinishian Community Development Office, the event was titled “The Role of Youth in the Improvement of the Environment” and brought together representatives of youth associations operating in Bourj Hammoud.
In her opening address, Taline Ladoyan, the JMP–L Community Development Program team leader, said that the event was realized thanks to the organization “Beyond,” which is funded by USAID. She added that the mayor of Bourj Hammoud has always facilitated JMP–L’s works in the area, by supporting the smooth running and successful completion of different projects.
Ladoyan said that JMP–L started its community development programs in 2005, aiming to carry out various projects in the area, through collective efforts and with the participation of the residents. Ladoyan noted that the Bourj Hammoud associations should contribute to the development and beautification works in their community.
Next, Ms. Nelly Vekilian, a member of the Bourj Hammoud Municipal Council, addressed attendees, presenting the works and projects of the municipality’s youth office. She explained that the office offers computer courses, educational seminars, arts and crafts projects, and social initiatives.
Vekilian said that the youth have big responsibilities and can lead to the development of the society. She added that the Municipality of Bourj Hammoud is a center open for every young person to visit, receive information, and assist in developmental projects.
Speaking at the event, JMP–Lebanon Director Seta Pamboukian said that the diversity of associations in the area is an asset, and that projects need to be developed at different levels — personal, civic and within the Armenian community — in order to overcome the relevant difficulties.
After a breakfast break, at 11:00 a.m., the participants discussed the youth needs and issues related to the Bourj Hammoud area, and contemplated possible solutions. Some of the issues identified during the discussion were: the preservation of the Armenian-Lebanese identity of Bourj Hammoud, the presence of foreign residents in the area (mainly migrant workers), the dangers of waste and waste disposal, the importance of having a youth center, the fight against drug abuse, the importance of constructing affordable residential apartments, etc.
After the discussion, the participants prepared flyers for the cleaning campaign, planned for the afternoon.
Following the lunch break, the young participants, accompanied by event organizers, visited the Nor Marash Street and “Arin Center” in Bourj Hammoud, where a cleaning campaign was held. After the collection of wastes, special posters were prepared and set up, calling for the preservation of cleanliness in the area.