YMCA building bridges

Psycho-Social Support Program and Community involvement

“YMCA Building Bridges”



YMCA of Lebanon in collaboration with YMCA of Finland through the local team in Yökoris-Finland, arranged for a one-week activities

(the 2nd till the 8th of September 2018).











 The first 2 days were capacity building for youth volunteers and over the remaining days, the teams executed 8 public events.

The training workshops were implemented at Dar El Sadaqa Ksara, Housh El Oumoura.

The capacity building teaches up young volunteers social participation through community engagement and event planning,

with a special focus on inclusion.





The training sessions for seven NGOs started with presentations by public events experts from Yökoris,

sharing their knowledge and experiences on social inclusion through sports activities,

team building strategies, organizing the task force and key planning outlines for public actions.








The training continued through the second day by a professional presentation on social media by one of the experts from Finland.

In addition, workshops on including people with special needs and voluntarism were the focus.





In the evening,

participants started concrete preparation for the upcoming events with different NGOs and members of the Syrian refugees,

using their new acquired skills for the preparation process.







In the evening of the second training day, participants were divided into working groups and were

assigned to execute activities for children and youth in the facilities of 5 different NGOs.

Youth nominated by the partnering NGOs were the ones leading the action with the support of YMCA volunteers and Yökoris Team.

This methodology was adopted to empower the youth trainees and scale up their new acquired skills in event planning.








In the early morning of the 4th of September,

and after a quick breakfast, the teams headed to the facilities.

The first day covered two different places: 




The Greek Orthodox Church – Zahle:




Union of Relief and Development Associations (URDA):





 At the Greek Orthodox church hall, 

casted the first event activities with more than 76 children divided into groups based on their ages.

The small children (4-7 years old) played with the mascots, got some face painting, danced and played together. 















In the second room, children aged between eight and fourteen,

got engaged with more interesting activities that introduce inclusion themes and team spirit building

through educative and sports games.








At the same time, another team of youth workers was engaging children at the Syrian refugees camp URDA for the second event,

were the Psychosocial program for YMCA Lebanon is running to help children surpass the distress of displacement.

We made sure to let these children have their share of fun, to let go and enjoy the moment.

We played sports activities, danced with the children, and had a music festival. 













The third event summed the YMCA youth workers with URDA youngsters through a football game.

We played for about an hour and made sure that the team spirit rules the game.











The purpose of these activities is social inclusion; inclusion of everybody.

The YMCA builds bridges.



Thursday 5th of September. New day, new place, new children and teenagers.

Home of Hope. (HOH) is an organization that serves the misfortunate, abused, abandoned, and orphaned children in Lebanon.

The YMCA crew met trainees and staff from HOH, and organized activities for children and teenagers living at the home.

It was very difficult but extremely joyful to work with HOH kids.





















After the activities ended, we shared a Lebanese meal “Mloukhia”, the kids were enthusiastic and caring.







In the afternoon of the same day, we went back to the Syrian refugees, but at a different camp:


Taleb Camp








All the children engaged with the spontaneous activities,

had some face painting, played more than six educational games, and danced Capoeira.



Our mission keeps going.

The last day was very busy working with children living with special needs and disabilities.

At “SESOBEL” assosiation.



This event followed two days training led by YMCA Finland with topics such as event planning,

volunteerism and the inclusion of people living with disorders through sports.

The event main goal was to create a joyful environment for the kids to enjoy their time,

and express themselves through recreational activities and gaming.












Kids living with disorders

(Down Syndrome, Duchene muscular dystrophy, kids on wheelchair or walker...)

were included in a group of 5;

2 groups were distributed on game posts;

for each group, two team leaders were assigned to help the children with actions to enjoy the plays.

The games were competitive sports games, team building and imagination stimulating.

The fun spirit took over the competition, the spontaneous actions and cheering for each other maintained our goals. 









After two hours of gaming and playing, the children were exhausted.

While leaving, many children expressed the happiness they felt by hugging the volunteers.

SESOBEL team showed a video introducing SESOBEL to the YMCA team and we had lunch together.




On the same day, Salam association received the YMCA crew who played sports activities with the children.

Activities were divided into separate areas where children experienced ball plays, group actions, and sports.









To wrap up our week with a spectacular closure, Salam’s association children paid us a visit to Dar El Sadaqa.

We played all together in the basketball yard,

a human maze was designed for team synchronization, in addition to other interesting games.







Finally, the day ended by a unique painting design

performed by the hands of the children and youth,

who left a mark in the hearts of participating and executing NGOs. 



Thank you all for the great time spent and the most appreciated gift whose value will forever remain in our hearts!!


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