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Fostering Refugee Leadership: Winners Announcement

Fostering Refugee Leadership: Winners Announcement

At Basmeh & Zeitooneh, we are firm believers in the power of the civil society to drive positive change in communities. That's why we established our Civil Society Enablement (CSE) unit in 2018, which is dedicated to addressing community issues and empowering individuals and groups within the civil society.

As part of our commitment to promoting non-violence, citizenship, and gender equality, we launched the Fostering Refugee Leadership Project in 2022, in partnership with Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative (rrli). The project aims to strengthen Refugee-led Organizations (RLOs) in Lebanon by providing them with tailored technical assistance and financial aid.

We understand the important role that RLOs play in advocating for the rights and welfare of refugees, and we want to enhance their capacity to deliver effective programs and services to the civil society. By providing long-term support, we hope to ensure the sustainability of RLOs and enable them to continue their invaluable contributions to the communities they serve in Lebanon.

To identify areas where RLOs needed improvement, we conducted a needs assessment process using an organizational capacity assessment tool. Based on the insights gained from the assessment, we developed six training topics aimed at enhancing the RLOs' skills and efficiency in the civil society.

Through the training program, participants were exposed to various tools and techniques that would enable them to become effective agents of change in their communities. The project culminated in the creation of a written proposal and budget document that reflected each RLO’s vision and goals for their community.

We were impressed by the quality of the proposals submitted by the RLOs, and we invited a well-selected jury composed of experts from various fields at Basmeh & Zeitooneh  to hear their pitches. The jury selected 15 RLOs to receive grants to implement their proposed projects.

We are proud to have played a role in empowering these RLOs to become catalysts of positive change in their communities. We are confident that their initiatives will have a positive impact on the lives of refugees in Lebanon, and we look forward to seeing the results of their hard work. At Basmeh & Zeitooneh, we remain committed to empowering civil society members and promoting positive change in communities.

We’re proud to announce the 15 RLOs that won a $20kK grant: 

  •  RoboGeex Academy
  • الحرب قوتني- War made me strong
  • نلتقي و نبادر- Naltaqi wa Nubadir
  • دروب- Pathways School
  • همة شباب- Hemmet Shabab
  • ضامنون- Damnoon
  • معا للعدالة- Together for Justice
  • hand by hand (telescope) 
  • بسمة امل- Basmt Amal (Smile of Hope)
  • كبكوبة و حكاية- A knitted story
  • اوكسيجين- OXYGEN
  • قوتنا بعملنا- Our strength is our work
  • منصة انا هون- Ana Hon
  • سوا ربينا- Sawa Rabina Team

Watch this video to learn more about Fostering Refugee Leadership project, the participating RLOs, and the FRL Pitch Events:

About Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative (rrli):

In January 2020, when Lever for Change and ICONIQ Impact launched a call for proposals to create long-term change for forcibly displaced people, the idea of the Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative (RRLI) emerged. Five refugee-led organizations—Basmeh & Zeitooneh in Iraq and Lebanon, RAIC Indonesia in Indonesia, Refugiados Unidos in Colombia, St. Andrew’s Refugee Services in Egypt, and YARID in Uganda—came together with Asylum Access, a convener and advocacy partner, to develop a joint application for this funding competition.

As a Coalition, we identified the problem: proximate organizations know what needs to be done, but do not have the funding or access to scale their efforts. Together, we identified the solution: drive funding to refugee-led organizations (RLOs) all over the world and support them to absorb that capital. If RLOs have resources, their leaders would more organically be positioned to engage with the decision makers that set the policies and laws that dictate the ways in which refugees are treated, including what rights they have.

In May 2021, the Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative was selected as the recipient of the $10m Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award. This award is the first step in our efforts to establish the first-of-its-kind RLO-to-RLO fund, a fund for refugees by refugees. RRLI has established a funding and support model that will enable local RLOs to sustain and scale their impact within the next five years. Through this effort, we will reach over 1,000,000 people across every major refugee-hosting region globally with holistic, community-driven support and solutions.

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Related Programs:
Civil Society Enablement Program