"Together we build a better society", Tripoli, Lebanon 2009
"Together we build a better society" Peace mural from Tripoli, Lebanon Summer 2009
What is Empowerment through Inclusion—Together We Build Society?
It is a community project that involves three parts: establishing a network of volunteers, creating a summer camp program for blind and low-vision children and their peers in partnership with the Youth Association of the Blind (YAB), and implementing the camp with YAB and the volunteers at Collège National Orthodoxe in Tripoli, Lebanon.
ESTABLISHING A NETWORK OF VOLUNTEERS:
- Community involvement
- Moral and civic citizenship
- Teamwork abilities
- Interpersonal and leadership skills
- Assessing one’s weaknesses and strengths
- International collaboration and exposure
- Training of volunteers by YAB support educators
- Learning and participating in the process of inclusion of persons with disabilities
SUMMER CAMP PROGRAM:
- Will include visually-impaired and sighted children
- Academic & extracurricular focus: Subject strengthening, Braille, computer, languages, art, theatre, music & life skills.
- Excursion trips to different places and locations in Lebanon
- Creating a peace painting with the international movement KIDS’ GUERNICA
ENVISIONED GOALS OF CHILDREN’S CAMP:
- Promote inclusion of visually-impaired individuals in academic and social spheres
- Develop self-independence
- Instill self-confidence
- Societal awareness
- Community support
About Empowerment through Inclusion—Together We Build Society
Maysa Mourad is a Lebanese student studying Economics and Peace Justice Studies at Wellesley College in Boston, Massachusetts.
Sara Minkara is a Lebanese-American student studying Economics and Mathematics at Wellesley College in Boston, Massachusetts.
Our project received the Outstanding Award of Education from the Clinton Global Initiative Association, and the Emily Greene Balch award from Wellesley College.
With collaboration of the Youth Association of the Blind (YAB)
Established in 1988, the Youth Association of the Blind (YAB) is a Lebanese non-governmental and non-profitable national organization with a regional dimension. YAB has no religious or political affiliation. YAB believes in full participation and fair equality of opportunities refusing all forms of isolation and discrimination. YAB’s overall goal is the full integration of the visually impaired in all spheres of society. YAB’s main strategies are advocacy, pilot projects and networking, to ensure access to rights and services for being in a society for all. www.yablb.org
KIDS’ GUERNICA: is a peace movement which started in 1995 in Japan, 50 years after the end of World War II. It addresses children all over the world and calls upon them to express themselves on peace through painting. www.kids-guernica.org
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Tel: 06 210435, 70 282975.
Project coordinators: Maysa Mourad & Sara Minkara, YAB representative Sabine Saad, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsors: LOGOS, Huseby Resource Center for Visually Impaired
The mural shows many versions of visually impaired or blind children with emphasis upon sense of touch a predominant feature even while the colors speak such a strong language. As such the mural is an amazing replica of the vitality of Lebanese culture. Iman Mourad wanted to take that second step after she had coordinated the efforts around the first mural called "Enough! We want to live." She wanted to show that Lebanese color is rich in life and vitality. Yet the times are not at all easy and everytime when one would think now would come finally a good phase, then the next blow means a huge set back. That was the case in 2006 when everyone predicted for the summer for the first time a high influx of tourism. Instead Israel invaded and an economy just getting back on its feet given another one of those huge blows. If that is taken into consideration then it is even more astonishing what these children achieved during that remarkable summer camp in 2009.
To touch someone's mouth evokes such sensitivity that sensibility follows.