Blue Mission’s background and programmes
Blue Mission Organisation has its roots in relief and development work during the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990). In 2002 the organisation was founded as a ‘cooperative’ as it started operating the Training Centre for Community Development (TCCD) in Sidon. In 2006 Blue Mission was registered as an official non-governmental organisation (NGO) under Lebanese law (file 1044).
Blue Mission is an independent and non-confessional organisation. We do not discriminate on the basis of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, belief, religion, or disability. Blue Mission adheres to the ICRC Code of Conduct and the Sphere Charter and Minimum Standards in
Blue Mission’s current activities and capacity draw on the experience of over 10 years working with children, young people and other vulnerable groups in Sidon, wider Lebanon, and other Middle Eastern countries. Our activities take place in Blue Mission’s Training Centre for Community Development (TCCD) or Sidon’s Public Library, as well as in schools and community centres across Lebanon and beyond.
From 2002 until 2009, our Ambassadors of Peace curriculum (AoP) was employed in schools in Sidon and elsewhere. AoP focuses on building awareness and conveying skills for non-violent conflict resolution and the reduction of bullying and corporal punishment. In so doing, we have cooperated with students, teachers, parents, principals, community leaders and government bodies. Children with psychological needs were identified and benefited from individual and group counselling. Some of the children went on to become volunteers with Blue Mission as young adults. Blue Mission currently has 41 committed volunteers. Around 30 of them have shown the potential to become trainers in other programmes.
Since 2009, Blue Mission has been implementing the From Village To Village programmes, which have enabled young people in South Lebanon to take ownership of community project design and implementation, conveying valuable skills in communication, teamwork, and project management. In each project, the focus, design, implementation and evaluation are owned and carried out by groups of young people who are trained in appropriate skills and assisted through the proces. See From Village To Village 1, From Village To Village 2, and From Village To Village 3 as well as the various Youth Club Initiatives on this website.
In Saida, groups drawn from schools (Lebanese and Palestinian) chose to raise awareness of issues affecting children and young people by the creation of short, high impact, video films. Each age group chose a different issue for their film. Elementary schools chose bullying; intermediate chose smoking and drug use; secondary students chose to focus on the issue of young people’s participation in the political process.
In addition, these groups a forming a cinema club. The videos which they have produced were the first films to be shown in the club.
The cinema club meets at 5pm each Saturday in Saida Municipality Theatre. All films shown, from a range of feature films, raise some issue of human rights. This may be attitudes to women, children, violence, corruption, crime etc. The films are then used to guide discussion in order to learn in a relaxed and safe way about these issues.
In the village of Maarake, young people decided to develop a public garden for the benefit of the whole village.
In KfarRoummane (near Nabatiye), a group of 15 volunteers (initiated by two students of Lebanese International University) chose to re-activate their public library (possible influenced by the success of a similar project in Saida). They also decided to form a weekly cinema club.
This project, funded by USAID, will complete at the beginning of November, 2012. However they will result in sustainable impact in each community and the capability of groups of young people to go to other villages to pass on their project management skills.
As a result of a competitive process, a UAE fund decided to supply a large number of books (6 600) to schools in Saida. Blue Mission were given the task of coordinating this work through its volunteers who run the Municipality Library. The Foundation have provided bar-coded cataloguing software and laser reading technology and training for its use, together with extra shelves etc. to store these books before issue to schools. They have also set up a web-based catalogue search facility for internal and external access.
Emergency Response Capacity Blue Mission cooperated with other NGOs and INGOs to respond to humanitarian needs of children during the 2006 war with Israel (with MSF) and the siege and destruction of Nahr el Bared Palestinian refugee camp in Tripoli (with Red Cross). Blue Mission has, for many years, been represented on the National Council for Children at the Ministry of Social Welfare and has taken part in interagency projects through its past relationship with Save the Children (Sweden).
Blue Mission’s background and programmes