Training of human rights defenders to reach justice and equity in community

Refugee Voices Heard Louder

Training of reporters and human rights defenders to empower voices of refugee communities

© Al-Jana

DanChurchAid Lebanon

The Issue

Lebanon, a nation blockaded by economic turmoil and a catastrophic port explosion, grapples with profound challenges stemming from political frailty and mounting societal divisions. The economic crisis, marked by a staggering 211-219% depreciation of the Lebanese Lira, has rendered necessities unaffordable. As a result, both Lebanese and refugees endure dire conditions, further exacerbated by host community tension.

With over 1.5 million Syrian refugees, youth, a pivotal demographic for change, face vulnerability. They need opportunities to channel their energy positively and avoid losing hope. Hence, Campji, an online platform, bridging the gap between refugee realities and the world.

Campji empowers young refugee journalists to share their communities’ stories, dispelling stereotypes and encouraging social dialogue. It’s a beacon of hope, revealing the resilience and potential within these communities, ensuring that the youth can be active architects of their future, not victims of circumstances.

The Project

The project nurtures the next generation of storytellers. We’re training 15 young reporters, they’ll uncover crucial stories, sharing them on our platform. We’re empowering 10 human rights defenders, balancing gender representation with 5 males and 5 females, to champion justice and equity in our community. This project’s heartbeat is the refugee community, providing voices with the platform to express their concerns and issues.

Lastly, our project touches the broader Lebanese community. As they engage with the reports we publish, we foster understanding, empathy, and positive change. This project bridges divides, empowers voices, and paves the way for meaningful impact.

The Change

This project is a catalyst for change, with a two-fold mission. It seeks to reshape perceptions between Lebanese host communities and refugees, all fuelled by the power of accurate, balanced, and timely information. Simultaneously nurturing citizen journalism, ensuring that the silenced voices resonate. It empowers citizen journalists to usher in change by embedding human rights and ethical journalism principles into their reports. They gain the tools to combat fake news, conduct robust research, and enhance their media literacy and communication skills.

However, our focus transcends words; it’s about creating transformation. By enabling refugee communities to express themselves, we’re propelling them toward brighter prospects and profound connections with the wider world.

The Results

As of November 2023, the project has already left an indelible mark. With 20 reporters (14 males, 6 females) and 14 human rights defenders (7 males, 7 females) trained in citizen journalism, it has sparked a wave of transformation. Together, they’ve crafted 131 reports, offering a unique lens into refugee experiences. These stories have resonated, reaching a staggering 2,445,676 readers.

Amidst immense challenges, the project bridges the divide, addressing topics that matter to both refugees and host communities. The reports explore global climate change’s repercussions, students’ struggles during rigorous academic years, the plight of individuals without proper identification, and the perilous state of neglected public buildings amongst many other topics.

The Partner(s)

Al-JANA, Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts

The Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts (ARCPA), widely recognised as Al-Jana, was founded in 1990 as a local non-governmental organisation officially registered in Lebanon. Al-Jana’s mission revolves around working closely with marginalised communities within Lebanon.

They document and celebrate their enriching experiences and creative contributions, all the while nurturing the capacities of children and youth to engage in conflict transformation, active learning, and creative expression.

Al-Jana, Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts (ARCPA)
Al-Jana, Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts (ARCPA)

Our Work

The project is in line with the Country programme goal “All individuals know, recognise, and claim human rights and basic freedoms, have the space and safety to organise and influence decisions affecting their everyday lives and enjoy democratic, accountable governance in just and equitable societies.”

The project fits under two long term changes under the global strategy: Fight Extreme Inequality LTC 7: Marginalised and vulnerable individuals, households, and communities, including faith-based actors, know, own and claim their rights and the rights of others, and influence decisions to respond to their needs and protect their rights.

About the project

Project title: Refugee Voices Heard Loud

Project period: 1 April 2023 – 31 December 2023

Partner: Al-Jana, ARCPA

Amount: 541,016.74 DKK

Number of people reached: 800 people


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