After months of planning, a vocational training program was designed in 2008, as part of the economic development projects. The program aims at equipping men and women with knowledge and experience in different fields, to help them find jobs in the future and become self-sufficient. Job placements are secured through employment offices and networking with various organizations.
Food Serving and Catering Course:
The first vocational training course on “Food Serving and Catering for Various Occasions” took place from March 4 till May 30, 2008, on the premises of the Mesrobian Technical College in Bourj Hammoud. Twenty-one single and married women participated in the training course.
Twelve locally and internationally renowned Lebanese chefs and other experts voluntarily invested their time as trainers and shared their years of experience with the participants.
The training included such topics as the preparation of the dining table, decoration and presentation of dishes, nutrition and cooking, preparation of a reception, kitchen safety, hygiene, and serving of drinks and beverages.
Besides the food-preparation courses, the training also covered a wide array of topics related to other useful skills and issues, such as interpersonal and communication skills, teamwork, customer service, budgeting, time and stress management, outer appearance, and employee obligations.
Flower Arrangement, Soap and Candle Making Course:
Starting November 10, 2009, the second three-month vocational training course was offered on “Flower Arrangement, Soap and Candle Making,” with the participation of 24 trainees on JMP–L premises.
The course was designed in partnership with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) staff, to provide women with the techniques of flower arrangement and decorations as well as other skills for producing handmade soaps and candles for sale by working at home.
The training included 20 sessions on various topics, including chemical composition of soaps; soap recipes; soap packaging; artificial flowers and cacti; natural plants and flower assortments; as well as practical tips on flower arrangement, soap making and candle making. The program also included a visit to a soap-making factory.
Trainers Mrs. Aida Karam and Mr. Fadi Abi Sleiman taught flower arrangement, and soap and candle making, respectively.
In December 2009, YMCA staff and the JMP–L Community Development team organized a three-day exhibition-sale of products prepared by the trainees. The event attracted the attention of all kinds of stakeholders, and raised some funds for future development projects.
More training courses are to follow on various topics, such as babysitting; care for elderly; cleaning of offices, houses and schools; etc.