The Community Development Program has been offering constructive educational, athletic, civic awareness, social, and recreational activities for the children, adolescents and youth of the community in which it works. The goals are to create a healthy social atmosphere for them as well as to empower and build their capacities.
In August 2006, the Community Development Core Committee started to organize summer activities for younger residents and held a series of meetings with them. Volunteer Teams were formed to plan and prepare such gatherings.
Having insufficient space on JMP–L Community Development premises, and not having a community center, our team often cooperated with various NGOs and encouraged children and youth to participate in activities run by other organizations. Such activities allowed Armenian children and youth to interact with others from different religious and ethnic backgrounds, creating tolerance among them and teaching them to live in peace with their neighbors.
Visits and Field Trips
To various educative and fun places, such as the zoo, the science museum, the Municipal Cultural Center in Sin el Fil, SplashMountains water park, etc.
In August 2007, as part of the “Sawa 2” project organized by the local NGO Peace Initiatives, 18 Armenian teenagers from Bourj Hammoud, along with participants from Beddawi (Tripoli) and Haret Hreik, visited various religious places. Read a news report about this Peace Initiatives program.
The Community Development Program gave the opportunity to children and teenagers who were active in JMP–L activities to participate in summer camps organized by other organizations. During these camps, the children and teenagers met and interacted with others from different cultural, social, religious and ethnic backgrounds, and learned to coexist peacefully and constructively with them. They also acquired new knowledge, enhanced their communication and teamwork skills, developed their talents, and boosted their self-confidence.
In August 2009, four Armenian teenagers from Bourj Hammoud participated in the youth summer camp “Tawassol 2009,” organized by the Arab Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Organization IJMA3 in collaboration with Partnership For Lebanon. Held at the University of Balamand, the camp gathered 100 participants from across Lebanon, who were introduced to ICT through several practical activities, including sports, recreation and computer applications. Read more about this event.
The same year, three children were sent to the Evangelical Summer Camp and 15 to the Armenian Relief Cross camp.
Discussions and Educational Meetings
To enlighten young participants about different topics (such as peace, drugs and drug addiction, civic rights, etc.) and to enhance their teamwork skills.
In 2007, a discussion was held on drugs for a group of teens. The staff of the Horizon Drug Prevention and Rehabilitation Center led the event.
In August 2007, Armenian teenagers gathered for discussions and other group activities on the themes of peace and cultural dialogue, as part of the “Sawa 2” project organized by the local NGO Peace Initiatives. Read more.
Follow-up activities to this project were organized in 2008, again by Peace Initiatives, giving the opportunity to 25 adolescents aged 13–16 to join a group of Lebanese and Palestinian, Christian and Muslim children in a series of workshops and outings, under the theme of “Communication and Peace.” Read more.
To help them hone their skills or acquire new knowledge on various topics. For example, in 2007, two young people from the community participated in a training course organized by the NGO Peace Initiatives to be able to work with children and adolescents.
Involvement in Community Activities
Children, adolescents and the youth often helped the other residents of the community with event planning or other initiatives, such as organizing Christmas and New Year celebrations, decorating the neighborhood during holiday seasons, decorating and posting educational and informative materials on the bulletin boards of buildings in the area, maintaining the garbage bins placed by the residents in the streets and the overall cleanliness of the neighborhood, etc.
To promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle among children and youngsters, as well as enhance their communication and group work skills through team sports.
In 2007, football and basketball matches were held for children and teenagers from Bourj Hammoud on the premises of the Municipality Stadium and the basketball court.
From March till June 2008, 40 children from the Community Development Program area had the opportunity to participate in basketball training, in the Bourj Hammoud basketball court. Several organizations and local schools participated as well to this project, which helped participants from different social and religious backgrounds to interact with each other. This was part of a project organized in partnership with Gam3, a Danish urban sports organization. Read more.
Games and Arts
Through which children and teenagers had fun while interacting with each other, discovered their hidden talents, and developed their artistic skills.
In July 2007, 45 Armenian youngsters played various games and made handicrafts with children of other ethnic groups, during a daylong gathering organized by ALRIAYA, a local organization. Read more about this event.
In summer 2008, children from Bourj Hammoud had the chance to be involved in various activities — music, painting, handicrafts, etc. — with other participants from different cultural and social backgrounds during the “Awlad” project organized by “Les Enfants du Siècle.”
In 2008, 26 children attended a neighboring community’s fair, which involved games and fun, and was organized by Dar el Amal, an NGO that empowers young women.
Access to Resources
such as a children’s library and computers at the Sin el Fil Cultural Center.