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Table of Contents Meet ULYP Word from Founder Word from Executive Director 2017 Programs at a Glance ULYP and the Sustainable Development Goals Bringing Childhood Back to Children Building, Bridging and Becoming Change ULYP Campus Board of Trustees Helping Hands, Helping Hearts Alumni Association Our Funders ULYP Recognition

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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 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.

Beneficiaries in 2017 A total of 4502

Youth 15+

Alumni 21+

Training of Trainers 16+ 4


Children 5-15


University Programs 17+


Parents 21+




Word from Founder

Word from the Executive Director

If I were to summarize 2017 for ULYP in one word, it would be ‘awards.’

My life journey has revealed to me that nothing retains its value more than an investment in education and the pursuit of knowledge. I learned early on in life that it is our own responsibility to pursue and gain knowledge, even when opportunities to do so seem out of reach. At ULYP, I encourage and facilitate an investment in knowledge and develop the tools to acquire it. Knowledge is an asset that keeps giving continuously, and remains one of the most powerful countermeasures against the various challenges we all face.

It is both rewarding and humbling, as well as an incredible honor, to have our work acknowledged and appreciated. Receiving the Best NGO award at the Ta’atheer Conference in Dubai and being recognized by esteemed organizations such as the Arab American Association of Engineers and Architects, TAKREEM and the International Cooperation Platform validates that we are on the right path to making a difference and achieving our vision of a united Lebanon with equal opportunities for all. Yet, what is equally rewarding and reassuring, if not more so, is that these awards reflect the fact that we are not alone in our commitment to the ULYP core values. These four institutions granting the awards agree with us when we say that doors need to be opened and that respect needs to be extended to all underserved and marginalized children, youth and women without any discrimination. Most importantly, it also means that these organizations from around the world agree that everyone should have the right to quality education.

2017 proved to be an exceptional year at ULYP. I witnessed children embrace all aspects of their childhood, youth elicit greatness, women discover their passions and potential, and communities converge around quality education. 2017 also brought ULYP multiple awards. This acknowledgment only reinforces my commitment to continue working with everyone, and for everyone, to create a more harmonious world.

What an award means for ULYP is an endorsement of our vision and mission and recognition of our practices. I speak on behalf of everyone at ULYP when I say we promise not to disappoint.

Thank you ULYP children, youth and women for all the hard work you are investing in your future. Thank you ULYP team for the commitment and effort you are devoting towards transforming lives. Thank you ULYP board members, volunteers, donors, partners and funders for the key resources you are dedicating to developing this inclusive community of knowledge and supporting quality education, which in our view is the key to positive change.

Sincerely, Melek El Nimer

Sincerely, Nicole Eid Abuhaydar 5

2017 Programs at a Glance

HAPPY provides equal access for children ages 4-6 to a quality preschool program and prepares them to enroll in first grade on a solid foundation.

Action for Children of Today addresses the risk of dropping out for children ages 7-15. This English, IT, arts and resilience-building program prepares children for school success.

Rainbow brings out the rainbow within Syrian refugee children ages 6-15, and their parents, using the ray of light education offers. Children engage in holistic activities including language learning and cultural trips.

Together Let’s Code brings the skills of coding and game development to girls ages 10-13, encouraging them to harness their capabilities in the IT world and motivating them to believe in their potential.

Math4Success brings math to life for children ages 8-15 using interactive methods and coding to reteach math and solidify student learning and confidence, culminating with peer-to-peer teaching of student-coded digital games. Sharing Hope and Reviving Education leverages education to build resilience and open doors for success in school and beyond to children ages 8-15, and their parents, through English enhancement classes and extracurricular activities.


#Respect graduates active agents of positive change for a peaceful and respectful future, empowering and enabling youth ages 16-22 to embody and promote the values of acceptance and tolerance.

Maharat builds skills and creates opportunities for beneficiaries of all ages to succeed in today’s innovative economy by teaching computer basics, digital literacy, coding, entrepreneurship and social media. Bridge matches capable students with scholarships at universities and helps them achieve higher education aspirations. It includes a university preparatory course, counseling, application guidance and university entrance exam training.

For the Livelihood of Youth equips youth ages 20–28 with language and employability skills coupled with internship placements to launch them into successful professional careers.

Most Outstanding Mothers empowers mothers through English, targeted sessions and basic IT skills to re-inspire a passion for learning, promote independence and open a door to future opportunities.

Training of Trainers 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.


ULYP and the Sustainable Development Goals In 2015, world leaders committed to working towards a more sustainable and equitable world by adopting the Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed upon and a target achievement date of 2030 was set. For Lebanon, this means addressing challenges surrounding poverty, health, education, women’s empowerment, economic growth, inequality and environmental protection and working towards what the United Nations calls “The Lebanon We Want.” ULYP shares this vision and seeks to equip the children, youth and women of today with the skills necessary to bring about a better tomorrow. Through laying foundations for children, scaffolding academics for youth, building bridges to higher education and productive employment and developing active agents of change, ULYP leverages education as its primary tool to achieve the goal of uniting Lebanon’s youth. In 2017, ULYP assessed the levels at which we contribute to Lebanon’s effort to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Knowing that access to and provision of quality education for all, including higher education, is critical to the attainment of the Agenda, the team identified that ULYP’s mission and activities most strongly contribute to the achievement of SDG #4: Quality Education. Specifically, ULYP programs aim to provide access to quality early childhood education; support retention of students in school by developing a love for learning; offer non-formal education and training to marginalized youth and women; develop relevant IT and vocational skills; connect students to opportunities for higher education through counseling and scholarships; and train teachers and administrators in best practices.


In addition to SDG #4, ULYP determined that our programs align with a number of other SDGs that support the further development of people, peace and prosperity in Lebanon.

These programs develop marketable skills and knowledge; provide targeted awareness sessions on hygiene and sanitation to promote public health and women’s rights; and foster the belief that everyone has the right to learn, especially Lebanon’s most vulnerable, regardless of gender and nationality. Each ULYP program promotes peace and unity by instilling conflict resolution skills and respect for diversity within participants and their communities. This annual report demonstrates how ULYP contributes to attaining the SDG of Quality Education. The report is divided into two chapters: the first dedicated to our work with children and youth (ages 5-15) and the second to our work with youth and women (ages 15+).


Bringing Childhood Back to Children ULYP is committed to ensuring the right of all children to access quality education. The lack of a solid foundation in education undermines the chances for the children of today to achieve academic and personal success as the youth of tomorrow. Children deserve their childhood. We are responsible, one and all, for ensuring that every child has the opportunity to learn, smile, play, explore, dream and ask questions. ULYP cultivates programs that bring childhood back to the disenfranchised and the refugee children in Lebanon by providing them with a nurturing and safe environment for development. Addressing the need for early intervention by creating quality educational opportunities to catch children before they fall, ULYP programs cultivate increased enrollment in school, support students in catching up to their peers and eradicate the risk of dropping out. ULYP’s programs for children and youth ages 5-15 are designed to fill identified gaps in educational services by better preparing children for school and by scaffolding them while they are at school. They support children’s development towards their full potential and rekindle their joy of learning. Programs also include sessions with the parents designed to support them and activate their roles as partners in their children’s success. The programs in this chapter support the following SDGs:


Happy Faces The Healthy Alternative Program for Preschoolers and Youth (HAPPY) serves children as young as four and five years of age. HAPPY has been bringing happiness to children since ULYP’s inception and is now a core program offered every year, yearround. The children, with their teachers, engage in a learner-centered early childhood education program driven by research-based methodology to enhance the preparedness of the children for first grade. HAPPY’s capacity has recently grown to serve double the number of children annually to address the increasing need and multiply its positive impact. We look forward to spreading double the happiness as of 2018. In 2017, HAPPY engaged 404 children and 258 parents and trained 50 teachers. In partnership with UNICEF Lebanon and Taawon-Lebanon. Funded by generous donors who wish to remain anonymous.


Taking Action for Education Action for Children Today (ACT) was first developed in 2014 and continued for three consecutive years. ACT expands the horizons of elementary school children from refugee and host communities, encouraging them to learn from their diverse peers and the world around them. Through classes in English, IT and art, the program exposes children to challenging practical skills at an early age and teaches them problem-solving and responsibility. ACT also addresses children’s rights and conflict resolution in a participatory method. In 2017, ACT impacted 260 children and 107 parents and trained 28 teachers. Supported by HSBC – Youth Opportunities Programme.

Coloring Lives Rainbow is an educational program designed to shine light through the darkness for Syrian refugee children, their parents and their communities against all odds. The program focuses on providing intensive yet interactive English language learning while nurturing students’ personal growth through cultural trips and life skills sessions. The supportive environment, personal attention and extended duration of the program contributes to happier, healthier lives for students at home and at school. In 2017, Rainbow supported 780 children ages 6-15 and 187 parents. Funded by a generous foundation that wishes to remain anonymous.


Together Let’s Code TLC Code Club opens up the world of computers to underprivileged girls of diverse backgrounds. Children become technologically literate, quickly learning to code anything from games to algorithms to songs using programs like Minecraft. Students also strengthen their confidence and creativity, working to solve problems independently as well as in a team. By imparting knowledge of coding and life skills, TLC introduces girls in Lebanon to important career options, provides them with strong female role models and empowers them to take charge of their futures. In 2017, TLC inspired 45 girls ages 10 – 15. Supported by Theirworld.

Students reporting good or excellent knowledge of computers reached 95%


Counting Successes Math4Success is guided by the principle that the best way for students to learn something is to teach it themselves. Middle school students engage in fun and interactive activities that connect math to the world around them, receiving additional instruction on topics covered in school to reinforce learning and prevent dropouts. Students see the application of math to coding as they complete tasks and create their own games using the Scratch program. Students take control of their learning and ultimately become teachers as they explain math concepts to peers using computer games that they coded. Math4Success motivated 254 students, 119 parents and 35 teachers and reached a further 182 students through peer-to-peer dissemination in 2017. Supported by UNICEF and in partnership with Terre des Hommes Italy.


Spreading Hope and Reviving Education SHARE reinforces and heightens children’s confidence through a variety of activities. One component leverages sports and arts for middle schoolers to develop teamwork, communication and leadership, supporting positive personal and academic development. A second component encourages high-achieving middle schoolers to continue excelling academically and to acquire new skills. Students hone their English, communication and public speaking skills through intensive courses and interactive activities that incorporate conflict resolution and creativity. In 2017, SHARE worked with 367 students and collaborated with 35 parents in the inaugural parents session. Supported by The Beit Jiddi Foundation.

“ I had no

idea a museum existed… and it was this close to where I live! ” SHARE student (Walid, age 13)


Building, Bridging and Becoming Change ‘The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.’ This is an unquestionable fact. What is up for debate, however, is how youth are preparing for leadership. Who are their role models? Which tools are available to them? How are we, the leaders of today, motivating and inspiring the leaders of tomorrow? Are we cultivating change and building structures to sustain it? These questions, given the critical role youth will assume towards achieving the SDGs by 2030, should not be taken lightly. This section of the 2017 annual report highlights the programs that target youth themselves or work with the adults in their lives, namely parents and teachers. It is our responsibility to cultivate skills for success, harness leadership potential, build bridges towards better opportunities and model the peaceful future we aspire to create. ULYP’s programs for youth and adults over 15 years of age offer a variety of services, yet all converge in encouraging participants to become the change they wish to see. Some build change by constructing skills to prepare for enrollment at university, employment, entrepreneurship, teaching or parenting. Others support the path to quality education, improved livelihoods and supportive and tolerant homes, schools and communities. By instilling skills and ideals, encouraging education and employment and connecting communities to opportunities and to each other, ULYP empowers its beneficiaries to embody and spread positive change. The programs in this chapter align with the following SDGs:


Respect Makes Differences Disappear #Respect poses the question, “What would a family, an organization or a nation look like without respect?” Through this question, respect is deconstructed, leading participants to understand the importance of respect and how it permeates all aspects of one’s life and society. The participants create filmed skits that carry their own messages of respect. They implement skills learned to personally disseminate messages using their films, reaching over 2,000 children and youth in their communities and on social media platforms. In 2017, #Respect equipped 102 youth with the necessary tools to bring change within themselves and coached 70 youth and teachers to bring change within their communities. Funded by the U.S. Embassy Beirut Local Grants Program.

“ I have the power to

make a change in this world.”

#Respect participant (Doaa, grade 10)

A Little Opportunity Goes a Long Way Maharat, which means skills in Arabic, teaches youth and women in Lebanon the skills needed to succeed in today’s innovative economy. Knowing that technology is not just the way of the future but also of the present, Maharat seeks to make participants conversant in the language of technology and comfortable using this tool for everyday success. The program targets four training components to achieve this vision: computer basics, digital literacy, entrepreneurship and social media. In 2017, 514 participants gained new skills. Funded by Microsoft Lebanon.


Removing Barriers to Higher Education The Bridge program provides equal opportunities and access to higher education to capable secondary school students from marginalized communities in Lebanon, in particular refugees who have severely limited access to higher education. Bridge’s holistic approach consists of three main strands that build on each other in order to bridge students from secondary school to university: University Preparatory Course (UPC), university counseling and guidance, and university funding (scholarships). Bridge creates ways for students to reach their full potential and make their dreams a reality. As we keep growing, the number of students crossing the bridge is increasing and our family is becoming bigger and more supportive than ever. In 2017, Bridge worked with 194 students in UPC, provided counseling to 304 students, matched 130 students with scholarships and welcomed 100 new graduates to the ULYP Alumni Association. Supported by various foundations, governments, universities & individual donors.

Taking Flight For the Livelihood of Youth (FLY) immerses unemployed youth in a six-month program, building tools and polishing skills to soar over the two main obstacles they identified in their paths to employability. The obstacle of poor preparedness for work in terms of language and professional skills is addressed through training in marketable hard and soft skills, including English for the workplace. The obstacle of the requirement of employers for ‘previous experience’ is addressed by facilitating placement in instructional internships to gain work experience. The FLY participants acquired a competitive edge for Lebanon’s tough job market, gaining the opportunity they needed to pursue rewarding and constructive lives. In 2017, 26 youth improved their chances for a better future. In partnership with Taawon-Lebanon and Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. 18

Change Begins at Home Most Outstanding Mothers (MOMs) revitalizes women’s confidence in themselves as learners and leaders. The program observed that the participants have generally prioritized the lives of their children and family over their own potential. MOMs repositions mothers as learners and empowers them with skills and knowledge to better manage their lives, homes and businesses, if and when applicable. Women learn basic English and IT skills and engage in interactive sessions to regain their voices to advocate for their rights and to instill positive change in their children, their families and their communities. In 2017, 60 mothers were supported. Funded by various private donors.

Passing on the Baton Sustaining the impact of ULYP’s programs is just as important as conducting the programs themselves. Training of Trainers (TOT) offers capacity-building workshops for the teachers, caregivers and administrators who participate in our programs with their students to equip them with the tools they need to continue working with these students and others in the same way, thus extending the life and scope of the impact in schools and communities. TOTs solidify learning at the levels of knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. In 2017, 183 participants were trained to sustain the change ULYP promotes. Funded under individual programs. 19

ULYP Campus 2017 brought growth to ULYP’s campus in Dibbiyeh, where many of the programs are hosted. The campus offers participants access to a green, welcoming, nurturing and safe space that is far too often out-of-reach for the marginalized communities in Lebanon. In this space, everyone meets to learn, grow, create and play together. The provision of such an environment conducive to learning is critical to achieving the SDG of Quality Education and, therefore, ULYP’s mission. Double the Smiles With the generous support of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), Taawon Lebanon and Give a Child a Toy, a new state-of-the-art HAPPY room was constructed and furnished. This doubles ULYP’s capacity to serve preschool children, their parents and teachers, meaning double the smiles! Rain or Shine Our football court is now covered, thanks to the generous donations from the United Palestinian Appeal and other donors. This renders the space usable year-round, rain or shine! Welcome Home The Australian Embassy helped ULYP upgrade the living spaces on campus, making the rooms more welcoming and comfortable to enhance learning for overnight programs that can host up to 40 participants at a time. Very often during the year, the campus is used at capacity, hosting 200 participants each day. At such times, and taking into consideration ULYP’s goal to meet the needs of beneficiaries from remote areas, ULYP started offering its programs in satellite locations in 2017. ULYP partnered with different organizations to host its programs in Beirut, Saida and Triploi, bringing the same care and methodologies used on campus to these easily accessible centers.


Board of Trustees The ULYP Board of Trustees (BOT) continues serving ULYP as its fiduciary and keeper of its mission. The ULYP BOT members generously dedicate their time and expertise to work closely with the administrative team to maintain ULYP’s integrity and contribute to ULYP’s growth and development. Adalat Nakkash Elias Baz Hanna Nassar Melek El Nimer Mohammad Mattar

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

Helping Hands, Helping Hearts Throughout the busy 2,000+ days since ULYP’s inception in January 2010, not a single day has passed without the support of our volunteers. They have been, and continue to be, crucial to the success of ULYP by supporting our work and continually reminding us that people care about and stand behind our mission. Whether referred to us by an organization or having approached us individually, ULYP volunteers come from all walks of life, near and far, and are devoted, determined, inspiring and always positive. In 2017 our volunteers came from 11 countries, helping both in the field and in the office. Like every year, many students from our Bridge program, who have enrolled in or just graduated from universities on scholarships facilitated by ULYP, join our team as volunteers to give back to the community. ULYP also partners with DukeEngage as a co-educator in the Bridge University Preparatory Course. In the summer of 2017, for the sixth year, ULYP hosted DukeEngage volunteers for eight weeks. These volunteers supported the Bridge program while actualizing the DukeEngage mission to “empower them to address critical human needs through immersive service.” ULYP is grateful for the helping hands and hearts that join us each and every day to make our work possible.


Alumni Association The Unite Lebanon Youth Project Alumni Association (ULYPAA) was established in March 2016. A committee comprised of class representatives elected by their cohorts, members of the Scholarship Committee, as well as our Founder and Executive Director governs ULYPAA. The ULYPAA dedicates 80% of the budget to scholarships for prospective students and 20% to alumni activities. This generosity is a prime example of the commitment ULYP has instilled within our alumni to education and of their readiness to give back to their communities to spread hope and change through education. Currently, ULYPAA represents 327 alumni.


Alumni Over the Years







Our Funders Acibadem University Ahliah School Ahmad Al Sari Ali & Lama Kolaghassi Ali Hassan Jamal Husseini Amal & 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 Beirut Marathon Association Beit Jiddi Foundation Bilgi University Bilkent University Consolidated Contractors Company Culture and Science Foundation Dar Al-Handasah Daughters for Life Foundation Dina Itani Kaddoura Dr. & Mrs. Raja Asfour Dr. Ramzi Ata Dalloul DukeEngage Eastern Mediterranean University European University of Lefke Fidelity Assurance & Reinsurance Co. S.A.L. First National Bank S.A.L. Hamid and Sawsan Jafar Hani and Syma Qattan Harvard College Children’s Stories HBSC - Youth Opportunities Programme Huda Kitmitto Huson Halabi Yassir Foundation Issa and Rana Abu Issa Jerusalem Fund Katya Trabulsi Kiblawi Foundation Koc University Lebanese American University Leila Straus Leonard Education Organization Inc. Liban Jazz Maha Shakashir Maher Abu Ghazaleh Maria Bayazid Medipol University Michael and Amani Dagher


Microsoft Lebanon Middle East Technical University Mohammad Amir Abu Ghazaleh Mohammed Abdul Jalil Al Fahim Mona Ibrahim Mohammed Al Mousa Muna Al Gurg Munib Masri Development Foundation Nabil Soubra Near East University Omar and Ghalia Qattan PACES Palestine International Institute Palestinian Student Fund Pillar Invest Corp. Radwan & Ibtissam Alami Raeda Taha Rami el Nimer Reema Chehabi Rifaat Nimer Foundation Rula Alami Ruwwad Al Tanmeya - Lebanon Said Zeid Kilani Salaam International Investment Ltd. Selim Mouzannar Social Support Society Spark of Hope Suad Massi Suhair Assi Taawon Lebanon Tamim & Lamis Sahli Tayseer Barakat Terre Des Hommes Italy Texas A&M University The Big Heart Foundation The National Institution of Social Care & Vocational Training The Samih Alami Memorial Scholarship Fund for Students of Medicine at AUB The State of Qatar via Qatar Development Fund Theirworld U.S. Embassy Beirut Local Grants Program UNICEF United Nations Relief and Works Agency United Palestinian Appeal United World Colleges Lebanese National Committee University of Balamand Wajih and Adalat Nakkash Wellspring Learning Community Worldwide Travel and Tourism Yayasan Khazanah Yeditepe University Youssef and Lina Abou Khadra Zafer and Tonia Chaoui


ULYP Recognition 2017 brought ULYP and its friends, supporters and donors regional and international recognition. Four awards were received, the first being the 2017 Ta’atheer Award in the category of best NGO, recognizing organizations that showcase best practices. The judges at the conference in Dubai agreed that ULYP stood out for leveraging education for social change and putting into practice its slogan, “Diversity is a reason to celebrate, not a cause to discriminate.” ULYP’s founder, Melek, received three awards this year for her humanitarian work and impact at ULYP. She was honored with the Outstanding Humanitarian Award from the Arab American Association of Engineers and Architects in Washington, D.C. and the Outstanding Efforts “For Humanity” Award from the International Cooperation Platform at the 8th Bosphorus Summit in Istanbul. At the 2017 TAKREEM Awards Ceremony in Amman, which raise awareness of Arab achievements across the globe, Melek received the Special Distinction Award for continuing to play “a key role in shaping a better perception of Arabs worldwide and in inspiring present and future generations.” It is an honor to receive such recognition. We congratulate and thank everyone whose support makes our work possible!



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ULYP 2017 Annual Report  
ULYP 2017 Annual Report