On Wednesday, November 23, AVSI organized an event in Beirut to celebrate its 50th anniversary. This occasion was the perfect time to retrace all the goals achieved and challenges overcame in Lebanon, where AVSI has been present since 1996.
This meeting was attended by seven young entrepreneurs, trained by AVSI, AVSI Lebanon's staff, our Founding Member La Libanaise, and the representatives of several local institutions and partners, as well as international organization we collaborate with. There were, among others, the Italian Ambassador to Lebanon Nicoletta Bombardiere, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) Director in Lebanon - Alessandra Piermattei, Mons. Giovanni Bicchierri, the Deputy Representative at UNICEF Lebanon Ettie Higgins and several representatives of the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture.
“The unprecedent multiple crises Lebanon is facing from almost three years have destabilized the Country, the societies, the economies, and the lives of thousands of people. – Marina Molino Lova, AVSI Country Representative in Lebanon - It seems that there is no slow down to the worsening of the situation, and it has posed serious questions on "where to start supporting the whole Lebanese and refugee populations?".
The humble answer we found was identified starting from what we knew, from the experience of the partners we work with, and from the communities themselves, expressing their requests but also sharing solutions, joining hand in hand the simple actions proposed. With a genuine believe that, still, it will make a difference, and it will be then worth the effort."
AVSI’s answer to the crisis in Lebanon: a pathway to resilience
The seven entrepreneurs who were invited to the event embody the type of concrete answers AVSI wants to give to the people we help, creating a “Pathway towards resilience”.
Seven ideas, seven enterprises, seven stories: they started out as beneficiaries and became once again protagonists of their development, as well as that of their community. These young people promoted the businesses they were able to create thanks to our vocational training projects, that foster youth entrepreneurship. This process gave them the chance to start producing vegetables, mouneh, eggs, bread, pellet, compost and grain.
This is a case to replicate, as on the one hand it addresses food insecurity in the country and, on the other hand, leads youth, retirees and the most vulnerable people towards economic stability. Earning a salary allows them to pay for electric generators, to have access to health facilities and feed their families.
The technical expertise at the basis of this project comes from our projects and partners. The place was provided by several municipalities who chose to help us relieve tensions and hunger among the population.
“The key is the engagement of each one of us, specifically in these tough moments, because at the end we do desire, all, to be part of a change, of something that will fulfill our hearts and lives.”
Together, we will fullfil our duty to protect every human life. To me, as a member of AVSI staff, every day is the beginning of a new generation, aware of its own abilities, confident of its own skills and determined to seize every opportunity. We are building a virtuous relationship through cooperation and mutual support.Abbas, AVSI Lebanon