Starting in May 2005, the pilot project of the Community Development Program was implemented in the area of the Municipal Public Houses in Bourj Hammoud, near the Municipality Stadium, where JMP–L established an office on the ground floor of the Vartan Jinishian (Housing Project I) Building.
This area was selected taking into consideration the following factors:
- The results of the preparatory study conducted for the Community Development Program showed that most residents in the Fanar, Rawda and Bourj Hammoud municipal residential buildings faced many social and economic problems.
- The majority of the population in the area is Armenian.
- JMP–L main offices are near the area.
- A great number of JMP–L beneficiaries live in the area.
From April 6 to 21, 2005, the Community Development Program team for the first time visited families living in the area of the municipal residential buildings as well as private buildings on one side of the bridge connecting Bourj Hammoud and Jdeideh, to inform residents about the program and to invite them to meetings.
During these meetings, residents compiled a priority list of their most pressing problems and difficulties, and suggested relevant solutions. The residents elected their own representatives to work with the Community Development Program’s team.
In May 2005, residents, as well as representatives of political, social, religious, cultural, educational and relief organizations and various stakeholders, gathered at the Armenian Catholic Union hall for a meeting, to focus on common problems and to determine a set of priorities to work on.
Given that the participation of residents in various community development procedures is imperative for the success of any project, the group of 24 residential representatives democratically elected a nine-member Community Development Core Committee on May 15, 2005.
In 2005 and 2006, two training courses were held for the Core Committee members on the basic principles of planning and project management, teamwork, leadership skills, and conflict resolution. The first three-day course by CSP (Customer Success and Progress) Middle East took place in July 2005, while the second two-day training was led by Mrs. Louiza Baboyan-Azezian in March and April 2006.
Having acquired the necessary skills, the Core Committee, together with the Community Development Program team, devised several projects after May 2005, having in mind the progress of the designated area.
Thus, the pilot project actively continued in the area of the Municipal Public Houses, even after the program’s center moved near the JMP–L main offices in early 2009.
Read more about what we accomplished as part of the pilot project and after 2009, when the Community Development Program expanded to cover the greater Bourj Hammoud area: