Breaking the cycle of poverty for girls in Lebanon

 

By Cara Taylor | Jinishian Memorial Program

Even in the best of circumstances, teens fear failure. For those living in hardship in Lebanon, this fear can cripple a young girl for life.

Her family cannot pay the bills. They may be displaced from their home or separated. She tries to find work but faces a youth unemployment rate of more than 21 percent. Under the strain, she cannot hold a job or keep up with her studies. She feels inadequate to shoulder burdens she should never have to carry. Before adulthood, she’s bereft of life skills, a diploma and hope for work or a future. She’s more vulnerable to abuse or trafficking.

The Teen Self-Development Project in Beirut enrolls every participant in vocational training at a half-tuition rate and accompanies her closely through group and personal counseling.

Lucie is the big-hearted social worker who sees lives transformed firsthand as she inspires girls “to have life and have it more abundantly” through perseverance, positive relationships and the uplifting truth of their own value and potential.

The Teen Self-Development Project is an outreach of the Jinishian Memorial Program in Lebanon (JMP). It ensures that girls have transportation to school, a safe place to study, recreational outings and skills in meal preparation. For $100 a month, these young girls emerge as empowered young women with valuable job skills.

JMP has been a trailblazer of economic development in Lebanon for more than 50 years, opening an employment office, affordable child care for working mothers and a small loan program (the Armenian Fund for Economic Development). Today, this vision and deep network in the community are needed more than ever, as refugees make up more than 25 percent of the population and drop-out rates soar. With more than a decade of success graduating vulnerable teens, JMP welcomes contributions and partners to join in breaking the cycle of poverty for more girls.

The Jinishian Memorial Program began in Beirut in 1966 to meet the needs of the post-genocide Armenian population. Today JMP reaches more than 65,000 people each year in seven countries — Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Artsakh and Georgia. The leadership and staff are 100 percent local and unite across Apostolic, Catholic and Evangelical traditions to share God’s love with the most vulnerable.

Give securely online to support the Jinishian Memorial Program. Donors have an important role in supporting this outreach, which is only partially funded by endowment. Giving truly makes a difference in turning life around for these young women.

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