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YouthCan! Program Launched in Lebanon

Yes They Can!

It was with a strong slogan that SOS Children's Villages Lebanon, and in partnership with DHL and Johnson & Johnson, launched the YouthCan! Program kick-off in Lebanon.

YouthCan! an ambitious global program created by SOS Children's Villages with the support of leading corporate partners to empower young people, especially those who do not have the support of their parents, by providing them with the support in finding out what kind of skills they need to enter the job market, some help in gaining experience, assistance in finding out about opportunities, and reassuring them that they will be able to find a job, earn enough money and be able to live independently.

The Lebanese version was held on the 26th & 27th of June, 2018 with the full support of DHL and Johnson & Johnson.

The program started on the 26th with a workshop held at Lancaster Tamar Hotel - Hazmieh. The workshop was attended by all involved stakeholders from SOS Children's Villages Lebanon and the corporate partners. Mr. Amin El Boustani, National Director at SOS Children’s Villages Lebanon, started the workshop by a general introduction of the program and its implications and applications in Lebanon. He raised the challenges that Youth encounter nowadays with an ever-increasing competition on opportunities and job positions. He stressed the idea that proper orientation and support are a key success factor for these young people. Mr. Al Boustani was then followed by Mr. Antonio Delgado, Program Director Johnson & Johnson, and Mr. Christoph Selig, Head of Go Teach Deutsche Post DHL Group, who both, each in his turn presented the headlines of their respective programs and contributions to this program. The first part of the workshop was ended with Mrs. Patricia Molano, Head of International Corporate Partnerships at SOS Children's Villages International, who introduced YouthCan! its driving forces and its benefits.

This first day was concluded by an animated workshop focused on the following pillars:

  1. Define possible activities for partners to address the gaps.
  2. What can Johnson & Johnson and DHL contribute?
  3. How does each contribution relate to one of the above-identified desired results?

The second day (July 27th) was held at SOS Children’s Village Ksarnaba and featured a number of interventions which started with a welcome and short introduction by Me Rachid Jalkh, SOS board member, representing Mrs. Afifa Arsanios, Board President, SOS Children’s Villages Lebanon. He was followed by three interventions from Mrs. Alia Al Dalli, Regional Director, SOS Children’s Villages Region Middle East & North Africa, Mr. Christof Selig representing Professor Christof Ehrhart, Head of Go Teach Deutsche Post DHL Group, and Mr. Antonio Delgado, Program Director Janssen EMEA GCI Fund, Johnson & Johnson. These interventions were directly followed by an animated speech by Elie Saad, representing the youth of SOS Children's Villages Lebanon, and a YouthCan! presentation by Mrs. Patricia Molano, Head of International Corporate Partnerships, SOS Children’s Villages International.

A panel discussion followed, moderated by Mrs. Nadia Malak, Head of Corporate Partnerships HGFD, with the direct participation of two Youth representants, Elie Saad & Carole El Sayed. The panel developed and discussed the direct implication of such a program on the youth themselves, and how it can be improved while adding new modalities and overcoming actual obstacles. All the participants unanimously focused on the importance of such a program in delivering direct effects on the lives and future of the young men & women.

The YouthCan! program remains an example of SOS Children's Villages commitment in supporting youth globally and the Lebanese version puts our local initiative straight into the lights. Our focus and commitment to this cause remain unwavering and we stand fast in our quest for a bright future to these young stars. In the end, when asked "Will they be able?" the answer is definitely: Yes they Can! And Yes They Will!

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