Global Communities has been working in Lebanon since 1997. With more than 15 years of experience working in Lebanon, Global Communities has established a reputation for implementing community-driven programs that address a broad range of social issues, from agricultural development, to education and the environment.
With funding from UNHCR, Global Communities is assisting Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled across the border into Lebanon, overwhelming communities there and straining local resources. The emergency program focuses on rehabilitating and weather-proofing the homes of Lebanese families hosting Syrian refugees.
Through the MENA Youth Empowerment Strategy (MENA-YES), Global Communities, in partnership with the Caterpillar Foundation, has launched a three-year, $4.4 million program to target youth aged 15 to 29 in Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen to prepare them for the labor market and job placement. Special emphasis will be given to disadvantaged youth, low- to medium-level skilled individuals, women, peri-urban and rural youth, and individuals working in hazardous environments. The program offers technical, demand-driven training, assistance with internship and apprenticeship placement, as well as, support for entrepreneurship and self employment activities and assistance accessing credit. Learn more, by reading the MENA-YES factsheet.
Through the USAID-funded Developing Rehabilitation Assistance to Schools and Teacher Improvement (D-RASATI) program, Global Communities is working to improve student achievement. In partnership with Education Development Center (EDC), the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) and local stakeholders, Global Communities is upgrading the educational environments at all 1,400 public schools in Lebanon. Global Communities is also working with project partner AMIDEAST to develop extra-curricular activities for students who attend the rehabilitated schools and mobilize communities to increase engagement in school activities.
Vitas Lebanon, founded and currently operating as Ameen s.a.l., has been a major player in the Lebanese Microfinance sector since 1999. Originally a micro-credit program created by Global Communities, Ameen became a Lebanese services company in 2003, and in 2007 registered with the Central Bank of Lebanon to become the first Lebanese financial institution specialized in microfinance. This change in legal status has enabled Ameen to provide loans directly to its clients using its own loan capital, or through bank partnership arrangements in collaboration with one of its four partner banks. Ameen’s entry to the Vitas Group enables the company to expand its direct lending capacities, using the additional investment capital, thereby drastically increasing their ability to bring commercial capital down to its low-income populations who are not served by traditional financial markets.
In 2013, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) agreed to provide a $25 million, 15-year Loan Guaranty Facility to Vitas Lebanon to support expanded lending to underserved entrepreneurs. The new agreement is similar to a facility between Global Communities and OPIC that ran from 2007-2013. Under the new facility, OPIC covers loans made directly by Vitas Lebanon allowing them to serve a growing number of clients across the country.
With funding from USAID, the Lebanon Education Assistance for Development (LEAD) improved the infrastructure and learning facilities of 85 schools located throughout the country. More than 30,000 students benefited from LEAD program activities including rehabilitation of school facilities, provision of laboratory equipment and establishment of clubs and after-school activities. In conjunction with the LEAD program, Global Communities made repairs to additional schools with funding from the Caterpillar Foundation.
The TAMKIN program helped to strengthen the capacity of local municipalities, improve service delivery and promote integrated and participatory planning. Funded by USAID, the program worked with 40 municipalities in Northern Lebanon to become more effective in leading local socio-economic development through democratic engagement with the private sector and citizenry. The program included mobilizing local communities and municipalities, conducting leadership mapping, and electing and training Municipal Development Committees (MDC) in each village. Once trained MDCs worked with partners and the municipality to develop and execute local economic development plans which identified projects with the greatest economic impact.
The Lebanon Apple Production Improvement (LAPI) program promoted economic development in the apple producing areas of Mount Lebanon, Bekaa and North Lebanon. Through LAPI, Global Communities provided training to growers in improved production techniques and developed a mechanism for quality control and food safety. As a result, agricultural producers were able to grow higher quality fruit for domestic and foreign markets and increase their incomes.