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Table of Contents Meet ULYP Word from Founder Word from Executive Director 2018 Programs at a Glance ULYP and Impact Impact on Preschoolers, ages 4 – 6 Impact on Children, ages 6 – 15 Impact on Youth, ages 15 – 18 Impact on Young Adults, ages 18 and beyond Celebrating Education ULYP Students Making an Impact Sustaining the Change ULYP Campus Board of Trustees List of Donors and Funders

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Meet ULYP Unite Lebanon Youth Project (ULYP) is a nonprofit organization (NGO#134) established in 2010 to propel a paradigm shift in Lebanon to a place where people can co-exist, unite and work together for a better future. To instigate this shift, ULYP focuses on education and opens doors that would otherwise remain closed to the underserved and refugee communities in Lebanon, in order to improve their livelihoods, pursue university education, believe in education, and trust in their abilities to become active agents of positive change.

Vision A united Lebanon where everyone has equal access to education and the opportunity to realize their full potential.

Mission To empower the marginalized children, youth and women of today with the skills and knowledge they need to become active agents of change for a better tomorrow, without discrimination.


Word from the Founder

Word from the Executive Director

Lebanon is currently the country with the largest per-capita refugee population in the world, with Palestinian and Syrian refugees constituting one-quarter of its population. Education, especially quality higher education, plays a critical role in situations of forced displacement. Education offers the means for young refugees to equip themselves with the tools to become self-reliant and to build a meaningful future.

The theme of this year’s report is IMPACT and I can certainly list myself as one who has been impacted by ULYP immeasurably. Every day, I have the opportunity to witness the real changes ULYP brings to the lives of the people we serve. Statements like, “ULYP made me understand that education is important for me,” and “because of ULYP, my dream to be at university has come true,” continuously motivate me to do better, confront what seems impossible and make it possible.

Along with education comes social integration, economic independence, economic contribution to the countries of residence, and the development of the human and social capital for peace building. As we approach our 10th anniversary in 2020, I strongly believe that by being inclusive of the refugee population, and serving and educating them alongside the marginalized host communities, we are educating the next generation and paving the way for a better tomorrow. Thank you for your trust and commitment to ULYP. Sincerely, Melek El Nimer

In 2018, we are reminded of the myriad of challenges we face in our lives and our country, where one of every four people is a displaced person. At times, it feels tempting to throw up one’s hands and lose hope. Yet, ULYP will continue its work with a renewed energy to choose the more arduous yet rewarding path, one that says there is always a way to actively impact positive change in the world. In this report, we share with you the impact of ULYP in 2018, none of which would have been possible without the encouragement of ULYP’s board members, staff, volunteers, donors, partners and funders. It is your investment and your participation in this journey that has made all the difference in so many lives. Thank you all for your confidence and support. I look forward to another year of togetherness and impact at ULYP. Sincerely, Nicole Eid Abuhaydar 2




Healthy Alternative Program for Preschoolers and Youth

Provides children, aged 4-6, equal access to a quality preschool program and prepares them to enroll in first grade on a solid foundation.

Together Let’s Code

Brings the skills of game development and coding to middle school girls, encouraging them to harness their technological capabilities and believe in their potential.

Sharing Hope and Reviving Education

Builds resilience of middle school students, and their parents, through English enhancement classes and extracurricular activities, thus opening doors for academic success and paving a path towards tertiary education.

Learn, Inspire, Focus, Engage

Supports middle school students at risk of dropping out through fun, interactive and student-centered English enhancement sessions, with the aim of improving their academic achievement and attitude towards education.

Change Starts with Education

Provides secondary students with English language and life skills lessons, as well as university preparation and counseling sessions, with the ultimate aim of supporting refugee youth enroll and excel in tertiary education.

Bridging the Gap

Matches capable students with scholarships at universities and helps them achieve their higher education aspirations. Also provides university preparatory courses, counseling, application guidance and university entrance exam training.

Training of Trainers

Embracing the Impact at Home

Sustains the impact of programs by engaging the participants’ teachers, administrators and caregivers in workshops designed to offer the knowledge, tools and confidence needed to maintain and grow the impact of each project. Aims to develop parents’ understanding of their children’s cognitive, social and emotional development, and helps build a structure at home that embraces the change instigated during the program, by actively involving the parents as partners in their children’s educational journey.


ULYP AND IMPACT Impact is at the core of our work at ULYP. Impact starts with the development of the individual who in turn contributes to developing communities that are more inclusive, productive, healthier, happier, and more financially independent. For ULYP, this impact is achieved through education. Education remains one of the most effective tools for positive and sustainable change. Typically, education is defined as the process of receiving or giving systematic and academic instruction at school or university. Our work goes beyond this limited conceptualization of education and beyond 5

these boundaries. We believe that learning is an ongoing, lifelong process. True education must incorporate skills that impart key aspects of positive personal development. This means developing the knowledge, competencies, and skills needed to have a direct impact on one’s ability to live with dignity, be independent, interact constructively with people from different backgrounds, and play an active and positive role in the community. The way impact is defined and understood at ULYP has widespread implications, and greatly influences how we design, implement and evolve our programs. At the planning

stage, discussions about the intended impact of each intervention are used to define the vision and set the strategy. At the level of implementation, we measure the extent to which we achieved our intended impact, and we use this as a gauge to evolve, in order to better serve our beneficiaries in the future. Reflection on the impact also guides us in drawing lessons and extracting best practices for improving current and future programs.

2018 in Numbers

Impact is the theme of this report. We thank each and every one who has contributed to the positive impact that ULYP’s programs have brought to our beneficiaries in 2018. 6

IMPACT ON PRESCHOOLERS, AGES 4 – 6 The importance of the early years of learning is without debate. Poor educational provision during these formative years has been linked to lower academic performance, psychosocial concerns, reduced levels of health, and behavioral problems. Building a strong foundation for learning through early childhood education can reduce and address these challenges. The best gift one can give a child is the gift of learning how to learn.

ULYP implements the HAPPY Program for this age group.

Total Participants 323 55% 46%

Building Foundations HAPPY’s main objective is to transform the way marginalized communities understand and practice early childhood education. HAPPY provides a holistic approach to building the knowledge and skill sets in these communities, necessary for providing quality preschool programs for marginalized and refugee children. Every year, all yearround, this program offers happiness, hope, and transformative education, helping to give childhood back to 200 preschool children. HAPPY directly impacts children’s education through a program that builds academic skills in the core subjects of English and Math, along with arts, children’s literature and health education. HAPPY’s approach is holistic and sustainable, as it serves not only the children, but also their support structure, namely parents and teachers. This aligns the rhetoric between home and school, and develops parents’ and teachers’ understanding of early childhood 7

education and children’s cognitive, social and emotional development. By building the skills of the teachers and parents in each community, HAPPY has a far reaching, snowball effect, indirectly impacting siblings at home and students at schools. Funded by United Palestinian Appeal, the Beit Jiddi Foundation, and generous donors who wish to remain anonymous.

IMPACT ON CHILDREN, AGES 6 – 15 As children move from childhood to early adolescence, they become more aware of elements like identity, independence, values, influences and decision making. The questions they consciously or unconsciously debate include queries about where they fit into wider society, who are the figures of authority, and what boundaries they can push. These questions are the foundation of building a personality and a purpose. The best gift one can give a young adolescent is

the gift of self-esteem and self-worth. ULYP implements three programs that cater to the specific needs of this age group, building the skills and knowledge necessary for success.

Total Participants 545 34% 66%

Girls can Code Coding is the language of the future, yet, most coders in today’s world are male. The value of learning how to code, and the need to address this gender imbalance, encouraged ULYP to design and offer a coding and computer science program to girls from marginalized Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian communities. Starting in 2016, TLC has proven to be highly successful and has become one of ULYP’s core programs. In 2018, this program engaged, empowered and inspired 150 girls, ages 10-14, impacting their learning, social and emotional skills. Using Kano Kits, Scratch, Minecraft and other software, these students developed their understanding of computers and how to write the code for games, websites and more. Not only have these girls developed an important new skill, but they have been introduced to a new potential career path, strong female role models, and a space to discuss issues of gender and their academic futures. Supported by Theirworld.


Education and Hope SHARE serves 80 middle school girls and boys living in and around the Shatila Refugee Camp in Beirut. The program focuses on developing their English language abilities, life skills, self-esteem and social-emotional wellbeing. Activities include fun and interactive English lessons, life skills sessions, sports, art, and drama. The program also takes the children on cultural trips to expand their horizons, and celebrates heritage and historical role models to strengthen their sense of identity. The SHARE program is cognizant of the fact that the changes in our beneficiaries must be 9

reinforced in the structure of the students’ daily life, otherwise the newly acquired skills, and improvements in confidence, can be easily deconstructed. Therefore, in line with other ULYP initiatives, parent sessions for the SHARE mothers and fathers are part-and-parcel of the program. SHARE has been a core ULYP program for four years and continues to impact and transform young people’s education and motivation. SHARE alumni will soon be of age to enroll in our BRIDGE program. Supported by the Beit Jiddi Foundation.


Igniting Interest in Education

In 2018, the LIFE program engaged 70 students enrolled in the UNRWA Haifa school in Beirut, who were identified as “at risk of dropping out�. At ULYP, we believe dropping out does not occur in a single moment, but builds up over years of negative educational experiences, low academic achievement, and a lack of motivation. LIFE aims to reverse this process and focuses on one of the main challenges the children face, that of failing in English and consequently all other subjects taught in English.

The impact starts with reteaching and improving performance in English and, in parallel, rebuilding a positive attitude towards learning. Through customized, interactive, student-centered English lessons, as well as activities such as life-skills sessions, sports, art and drama, LIFE helps the children cross the bridge to retention and success at school. Sessions with the parents also ensure that a positive attitude towards education is being cultivated at home, as well as in school. In partnership with Taawon/Lebanon.


IMPACT ON YOUTH, AGES 15 – 18 This period in a young person’s life is critical for a number of reasons. Firstly, it represents the transitional years between schooling and higher education, when many children drop out of school or are unable to enter tertiary education. It is also a period where peer pressure can be at its peak which, more often than not, has negative consequences. These pivotal years are both exciting and challenging as intense growth and key developments are taking place at all levels: physical, cognitive, emotional and social. Transitioning from childhood to young adulthood can be tough to navigate and the youth at this age require the full attention of the adults in their lives. For many marginalized youth, and in particular those from refugee communities, tertiary education is often out of reach. There are many obstacles for these students wanting to secure a place at university. These challenges

include: low academic attainment, insufficient grasp of the English language needed to pass universities’ English entrance exams, a lack of understanding about university choices and the application process, and the affordability of tuition fees and associated costs. ULYP caters to these needs by implementing programs that strengthen their school performances and help them secure good grades, become more eligible for university education and begin their journey towards independent, successful adulthood. ULYP implements two programs for this age group.

Total Participants 582 34% 66%

UPC The University Preparatory Course is the first component of ULYP’s BRIDGE program. In 2018, this program catered to 160 high achieving grade 11 students from nine UNRWA secondary schools. Once selected, the students engage in a two-year program that prepares them for enrollment at universities. During the first year, the students attend


classes that prepare them for standardized tests such as the SAT and TOEFL exams. In year two, the students benefit from counseling and guidance sessions to explore university courses and career options. Students are also supported in filling out university applications and submitting these in a timely manner. Supported by Taawon/Lebanon and UNICEF.

Change Starts with Education In 2018, ULYP launched the Change program to complement and expand the services it offers to youth aged 15-18. Change catered primarily to Syrian refugees enrolled in grade 12 and addressed their need to perform better in English and consequently in other subjects taught in English. 75 participants enrolled in this intensive program that prepared them for success in their school exams and university entrance exams, by providing university counselling and application support, and directing students towards scholarship opportunities. This cohort finished the program in the Summer of 2018 and over 80% of them are now at universities in Lebanon and abroad, proving that this short intervention had a long-term impact.

Based on the success of the pilot program, and with the support of the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, ULYP was able to continue offering the program. Change has now grown to serve 300 marginalized and refugee youth in three centers across Lebanon, starting with them in grade 11 and working with them for two years. These highly motivated students will complete the program in the summer of 2020. Change was launched and funded by The Asfari Foundation. Change 2018-2020 is funded by the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund.

truly changed our lives


IMPACT ON YOUNG ADULTS, AGES 18 AND BEYOND At 18 years of age, concern for the future peaks, and with it comes the ambiguity and fear of the unknown. Attitudes and values that guide choices are intertwined with the reality of life and the options it offers. ULYP works to open doors to tertiary education opportunities; making the dream of higher level education and becoming a university student, a reality.

ULYP Students and Graduates Around the World.


Current Students


Total Participants 980 42% 58%

Scholarships BRIDGE has an impact by providing equal opportunities to capable youth from marginalized and refugee communities living in Lebanon. Since its inception, BRIDGE’s second key component has been to work with students and match them with scholarships. In 2018, this component supported a new cohort of 113 students, enrolled in 4 universities in Lebanon and in 12 universities abroad. This brings the total number of BRIDGE students currently in universities to 467.

2018 also brought a new partner to BRIDGE; the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, who joined ULYP to support the tertiary education of refugee students, and cost share their expenses until graduation. This fund also supports graduates as they pursue specialized vocational diplomas, directly connected to increasing their employability. Supported by various universities, foundations, governments and individual donors.


CELEBRATING EDUCATION On July 24, ULYP held its fourth ‘Celebration of Education’ event. This annual gathering honors our graduating students and highlights the impact their scholarships have had on their journey. This celebration validates our work, motivates us and our donors, and renews our commitment to changing lives through education. Dr. Joseph Jabra, President of the Lebanese American University (LAU), was the key note speaker and started his address with these words:

As I look at you on this beautiful and emotion filled evening, I see in you the beautiful gems that each and every one of you is. I read on your faces the great potential progressively unfolding to shepherd our troubled world to the shores of peace, justice, and equality. I notice with delight, different smiles on your faces, but all exuding pride in and satisfaction with your achievements.

As for the students, they addressed the audience of donors, board members and friends of ULYP with equally powerful words:


First, I’d like to congratulate all fellow students, myself included, for finally graduating. It definitely wasn’t easy, but absolutely worth it…You still have a road filled with battles ahead, so buckle up, and win them just like you won this one when you graduated. A doctor, an engineer, a manager, or even a filmmaker, we all can make a difference. Just embrace what makes you special and never let it go. It’s very tough out there, but it’s your choice. You can be a permanent victim of circumstances, or you can pull yourself together and be the hero of your own life.”

Like many of you, as soon as I got my cap and gown off, the usual Mabrouk’s started hailing over me followed by the question: What’s next? And you sit there fumbled by it... Except for a few, the majority still don’t know what is coming next. We start worrying about it, and we go into the usual post-graduation depression of the unknown. I’d like to remind you here that 3-4 years ago, you were in the exact same spot. You didn’t know that you were getting a scholarship to some of the most prestigious universities in the region, and perhaps the world. But you did, and here you are celebrating it with such a loving atmosphere.

Maysam Azzam, AUB, BA Media and Communication, Class of 2018

Mohammad Zamzam, AUB, BS Civil Engineering, Class of 2018

ULYP STUDENTS MAKING AN IMPACT The ULYP Alumni Association (ULYPAA) is growing. Following their graduation, the class of 2018 was inducted, bringing the total number of alumni members to 409. More than 80% of them have now joined the workforce in Lebanon or abroad, or have continued their studies, building on the impact of their university education from scholarships facilitated by ULYP and its donors. In 2018, the ULYPAA donated its membership fees to

provide a scholarship to one student at Texas A&M University at Qatar, to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. This was the first time the Alumni have been able to provide a scholarship themselves, and an excellent example of ULYP students supporting the next generation. Giving back is a value we honor at ULYP and we are proud of our graduates, who are the role models for future ULYP Alumni. 16

SUSTAINING THE CHANGE Higher levels of education have been linked to a number of societal benefits: increased levels of income, lower levels of crime, and improved gender equality, to name a few. By providing access to quality education, ULYP is impacting refugee and marginalized children, youth and young adults to become more educated. However, the strength of this impact is limited without the support of the adults in these young people’s lives. ULYP believes in sustaining the impact, and therefore ensures that projects engage the teachers and parents of our students. Teachers working with the participants observe ULYP classes and activities and engage in workshops to expand their understanding of age-specific childhood education theory and share best teaching practices; taking away effective pedagogical practices and new ideas for their classrooms. UYLP projects also bring together the parents of our beneficiaries. These sessions are vital for parents to share their concerns and questions; discuss solutions and best practices; learn about their child’s cognitive, social and emotional development; and explore strategies for enhancing their parenting skills.


By working with the adults who support our beneficiaries, we are ensuring that the impact of our activities is reinforced at school and in the home. We acknowledge the fact that these adults are the caregivers, educators and role models for many others in their community. This impact is therefore further disseminated, as these adults spread their knowledge and are better prepared to support all the young people in their care, now and in the future.

OUR CAMPUS ULYP is one of the few active NGOs in Lebanon that offers marginalized and refugee children and youth access to a safe and warm space conducive to learning. The 24,000m2 ULYP campus, in the beautiful area of Dibbiyeh, houses two pre-school classrooms, a playground, three customized studios for IT, art and learning activities, a football field, a basketball court, a swimming pool, a central home for overnight programs, and a lot of outdoor green space. ULYP implements most of its programs on its campus to give the participants a break from their limited and crowded environments. This is every child’s right, and this access elevates marginalized and refugee children and youth to the same level as their peers from privileged or other communities. Thanks to support from the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development, ULYP’s campus grew in 2018 in terms of safety and quality. The funded project, ‘Equal Access to Safe Play Space’, involved the refurbishment and enhancement of the preschool playground, which now includes padded flooring. Providing a well-equipped and safe area for our youngest learners maximizes the impact of their time on campus, helping bring ‘childhood back to children’.


BOARD OF TRUSTEES ULYP’s Board of Trustees continues to play a vital role in ULYP’s management and overall direction. The members generously dedicate their time and expertise to ensure that ULYP’s activities are impactful and echo its mission, vision and values. Adalat Nakkash Elias Baz Hanna Nassar Melek El Nimer Mohammad Mattar

Nimat Kanaan Rana Hadid Rula Alami Youssef El Zein Yusuf Kan’an

VOLUNTEERS The commitment and dedication of the ULYP volunteers are integral to the success of our activities. The kindness, care and commitment shown by our volunteers is inspiring. In 2018, we welcomed volunteers from 12 countries, all walks of life and each bringing their own expertise. Local volunteers include our Change and BRIDGE graduates and it is wonderful to see these young people giving back to the community. ULYP’s partnership with Duke Engage is also still going strong, with nine Duke University students having volunteered with the BRIDGE program and supported its University Preparation Course for eight weeks in 2018. All the ULYP volunteers are priceless; supporting the learning and growth of our beneficiaries, as well as helping us complete administrative tasks. ULYP is so grateful for this support.


2018 ULYP Donors, Funders and Partners Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund Acibadem University Ahliah School Ahmad Al Sari Ahmad Kailani Ali and Lama Kolaghassi Ali Hassan Jamal Husseini Amal and Rima Hourani American Community School Beirut American University of Beirut American University of Science and Technology American University of Sharjah Americans for Children of the Middle East Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development Asfari Foundation Bassam Aburdene Bassem K. Al-Salem Beirut Marathon Association Beit Jiddi Foundation Bilgi University Bilkent University Consolidated Contractors Company Dar Al-Handasah Daughters for Life Foundation Dr. and Mrs. Raja Asfour Dr. Ghassan Alami DukeEngage Eastern Mediterranean University European University of Lefke Fawzi and Lili Farah Fidelity Assurance & Reinsurance Co. S.A.L. First National Bank S.A.L. Haleema Al Owais Hamid and Sawsan Jafar Hani and Syma Qattan Huda Kitmitto Huson Halabi Yassir Foundation Issa and Rana Abu Issa The Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development Khaled Miqdadi Kiblawi Foundation Koc University Lebanese American University Leila Straus Leonard Education Organization Inc. Liban Jazz Maher Abu Ghazaleh Maria Bayezid Medipol University

Michael and Amani Dagher Middle East Technical University Mohammad Amir Abu Ghazaleh Mohammed Abdul Jalil Al Fahim Muna Ibrahim Mohammed Al Mousa Muna Al Gurg Munib Masri Development Foundation Nabil Soubra Near East University Nour Al Nimer and Serge Jureidini Omar and Ghalia Qattan PACES Palestine International Institute Palestinian Student Fund Pillar Invest Corp. Radwan and Ibtissam Alami Rami El Nimer Rana Sadik and Samer Younis Reema Chehabi Riad Kamal Rifaat El Nimer Foundation Rula Alami Said Zeid Kailani Salaam International Investment Ltd. Samir Adel Aweida Social Support Society Spark of Hope Suhair Assi Taawon Lebanon Tamim and Lamis Sahli Tayseer Barakat Texas A&M University The Big Heart Foundation The Creative Union The National Institution of Social Care and Vocational Training The Samih Alami Memorial Scholarship Fund for Students of Medicine at AUB Qatar Fund for Development Theirworld UNICEF UNRWA United Palestinian Appeal United World Colleges Lebanese National Committee University of Balamand Worldwide Travel and Tourism Wajih and Adalat Nakkash Yayasan Khazanah Yeditepe University Yusef and Lina Abu Khadra Zafer and Tonia Chaoui 20

Profile for ULYP

ULYP 2018 Annual Report  

ULYP 2018 Annual Report  

Profile for ulyp