WPA aims to economically empower women and provide crucial early childhood education to children living in the Burj el Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp.

According to the UN Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), two out of three Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in poverty. Some 56 percent of refugees are unemployed and the jobs they do have are often unskilled positions that offer little job security.

 

Facts & Figures
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  • Location: Burj el Barajneh Refugee Camp, Lebanon
  • Alfanar Investee Since: 2013
  • Total Alfanar Investment: £327,648
  • Social Impact: 209 lives Impacted

Without Alfanar I could never have turned my vision into a reality.

Mariam Shaar, Exective Director of WPA Burj al Barajneh

The Challenge

According to the UN Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees, two out of three Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in poverty. 56% of refugees in Lebanon are unemployed and the jobs refugees have offer little job security.

The Organisation

WPA has branches in nine out of 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, including the Burj el Barajneh Camp where the organisation provides vocational skills training for women, offers microloans to members of the community, employs women through the Soufra catering unit and runs a community pre-school.

 

Achievements With Alfanar's Support

Alfanar’s investment has helped WPA to set up the Soufra catering unit and seeded the first female refugee-led food truck in Lebanon. A documentary film also called ‘Soufra’ chronicling WPA's journey to secure this food truck (www.soufrafilm.com) was released in 2017, alongside a cookbook compiling a collection of Soufra’s finest recipes. With Alfanar’s support, WPA has grown its microloans to women in the camp and established the Nawras pre-school in October 2018, which provides crucial early childhood education to children in an area of the camp where there were no schools previously.

 

Looking Ahead

Following the success of ‘Soufra’, a Family Fund was launched at the Laudato Si’ Challenge 2018 at the Vatican (www.lsc18.0rg) in December 2018. As a result, five families have pledged $10,000 USD per year for ten years to cover the running costs of the preschool, thus enabling WPA to shore up reserves that ensure the long-term sustainability of this investment. Alfanar is working to strengthen WPA’s financial management and reporting systems as it prepares for exit.

 

Nawras Preschool

Following the community's request, Alfanar has supported WPA to set up an apolitical, secular preschool in the Burj El Barajneh refugee camp. This will not only provide the next generation of refugees in the camp with high quality early-childhood education, but will also allow more women to pursue employment and financial self-sufficiency.

Refugees like us know that charity isn’t enough. We’re tired of it. You need to empower people to make them self-reliant. You need to teach them how to fish. That is what the food truck means to us. There is great potential for this kind of model to empower refugees elsewhere.

Mariam Shaar, Exective Director of WPA Burj al Barajneh