The “Flower Arrangement, Soap and Candle Making” vocational training course carried out from November 2009 till March 2010 by JMP–L, in partnership with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), attracted the attention of not only the trainees but also people from the surrounding neighborhoods and other community members.
Offered in JMP–L’s Talassian Hall near our main offices, it was the first ever training of its kind held there. Throughout the duration of the program, the hall turned into a busy atelier for more than 24 participants, grabbing the attention of passers-by and neighbors who curiously came to watch and ask about the training through the ground floor’s windows.
The participants were very motivated — they even tried to make soaps in their homes and came back to discuss the difficulties they faced and to ask questions to the trainer in order to improve their performance.
Mrs. Lena, one of the trainees, said: “We are being able to express our artistic talents through the soaps, candles and flower arrangements that we prepare. Handcrafts are always pleasant to work on and give us self-confidence and satisfaction when we look back to the things we have accomplished. This course is giving us scientific and technical information, practice and taste. And most importantly, we can use what we are learning to increase the incomes of our families.”
Another trainee, Ms. A.Z., said: “We can’t wait to attend the course every Tuesday and Thursday. The training is so advantageous and at the same time the group dynamics are very positive.”
The products prepared by the trainees were showcased at an exhibition-sale held in December 2009, which attracted the attention of numerous community members, reporters, and representatives of the Bourj Hammoud Municipal Council, social centers, partners and other NGOs.
While visiting the exhibit, Mr. V. of Vivaro, a neighboring shoe business, thanked JMP–L for organizing this training course. He said: “You brought life to our neighborhood. You brought color to our street every Tuesday and Thursday. We are witnessing a positive movement in our street — women come in and go out, and even the passengers look in from the open windows to see what is going on in there.” He added: “You moved peoples’ curiosity and you are doing a great job. You decorated our neighborhood…”
The event even grabbed the attention of the kids visiting the exhibition with their parents — some of them wanted to buy something with the little money they had.
Important note: In some of the stories, the names of beneficiaries have not been used or have been changed for the sake of privacy orconfidentiality.