WHAT WE DO
The DROPS Junior Professional Program for Refugee and Host Communities aims to support the social and professional development of marginalized youths in Lebanon and, in doing so, to enable a peaceful future in a divided society. As a result of the war in Syria and the enormous refugee influx into Lebanon, a great burden has been put on both host and refugee communities. We therefore do our best to engage both local Lebanese youths and Palestinian and Syrian refugees in our program.
Our working hypothesis is that young people who haven't had access to education or work opportunities and don't have a daily routine are more likely to be at risk of being marginalised in the long term, regardless of their nationality. Our program has been designed for young women and men who have dropped out of school, and are excluded from or have no access to the existing educational and vocational institutions.
Ragda El Jarhey, Nurse trainee, Class 6
My name is Ragda El Jarhey. I joined the “DROPS Junior Professional“ program in 2017 and chose to work as a nurse. I am very happy with my professional choice because I love helping people in need. There is no greater reward than being able to relieve their pain.
I am originally from the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk in Syria. Our camp was completely destroyed during the civil war. My family and I were left with no better choice than to flee the country. We came to Lebanon as refugees and settled in the Palestinian camp of Beddawi. Away from home and out of school, I knew that I did not have access to many opportunities for personal development.
Luckily, I heard from friends that there is an organization that
provides refugees like us with the chance to learn a profession. Every day i go to work full of excitement and enthusiasm. My family and friends are convinced that this profession suits my character best. I have earned their respect for choosing a decent profession that is also beneficial for society.
As a result of this positive experience, I am more socially active. I started taking more interest in people and in humanity.
In the future, I hope to become a successful nurse. I want as many people to benefit from my knowledge and experience as possible.
As its main tenant, DROPS provides paid, on-the-job training to young women and men from Palestinian refugee camps and the surrounding communities. We match the juniors with local businesses where they are trained in the basic practical skills of their chosen profession under the supervision of an experienced professional and with regular check-ups from a DROPS employee.
We also organize diversity training sessions for the juniors focused on a number of topics including inter-communal group work, conflict management, non-violent communication, and personal and professional development. In addition, individual psychological counselling and group therapy is provided according to individual needs. This helps to strengthen the resilience of the juniors and help war refugees overcome traumatic experiences.
DROPS juniors design a project for the community they live in, and in the process learn how to use their newly acquired skills to the benefit of the community. The creation and implementation of a community project aims to strengthen the links between host and refugee communities.
Our godparents' network speaks to the character of DROPS on the whole, and is a very important element of our program. Through this network, professionally well-established and trusted members of the local community act as volunteer mentors for the juniors. The one-to-one private meetings are meant to provide a safe and trusting space for the juniors where they can seek advice on individual social and professional issues – independent from the family and work context.
Thanks to our comprehensive approach we are able to sustainably integrate the young people into professional life: 90% of DROPS graduates are currently employed and are able to make a living to financially contribute to the income of their families.