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Literacy project for refugees - 'small actions ripple big'

UNIC Beirut Supports Literacy Project for Young Refugees Source: UNIC Beirut
UNIC Beirut Supports Literacy Project for Young Refugees Source: UNIC Beirut

In July and August 2017, the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Beirut provided support, coordination, and training services to youth volunteers from the international non-profit organization AIESEC.

The activity was part of the MyBookshelf: Language and Cultural Program for Refugees project to teach the English language through learning and cultural activities. It also helps promote cultural understanding.

UNIC Beirut teamed up with subject matter experts from UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to train the youth volunteers on the SDGs, reporting on refugees, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the TOGETHER campaign.

After six weeks of training, forty local and international volunteers shared their knowledge with around 200 refugee students aged 7-14.

Volunteers discussed issues of development, culture, peace, and the SDGs with the refugee students. Together, they wrote their reflections, took photographs, and shared their experience through social media, ultimately spreading awareness of the SDGs and the values of tolerance, respect, and diversity around the world.

Laura Al-Bast, Project Manager for AIESEC, spoke about the impact of the initiative as “small actions that ripple big”.

“Over the course of six weeks, young individuals from nine different countries and from seven different Lebanese universities, committed to providing literacy lessons and psycho-social support to kids who do not know how to read or write,” said Al-Bast.

AIESEC is a youth-led, non-profit organization that works on peace building and leadership through cultural exchange programs. The MyBookshelf project is under the umbrella of AIESEC’s Youth 4 Global Goals initiative (#Youth4GG) and mainly targets Goal #4 (Quality Education) and Goal #16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions). 

Source: UN iSeek