1- Civic Centers Program Objectives:
The Civic Centers Program at the Makhzoumi Foundation provides trainees with educational, technical and vocational skills. It fulfils two of the Foundation’s goals: encouraging the seeking of knowledge and promoting self-reliance. The courses are tailored to cater for the requisites of the labour market and the challenges of the twenty first century.
The training provided by this program contributes positively to the development of the youth, as the mastering of vocational skills creates a feeling of satisfaction and hope; it actually turns the trainees into a productive power. Otherwise, they shall be a burden on society.
Target Group & Selection Criteria
Beneficiaries of the civic centers program belong to all age groups, and all educational & social backgrounds.
The selection of trainees, from amongst the applicants, follows generally the rule of equal opportunity, but with special attention to those candidates, who are in critical need to improve their economical and social status, and who are sufficiently ambitious to achieve such improvement. In addition, courses are also offered to members of the Internal Security Force of Lebanon, Republican Guards, National Council for Social Security employees and Red Cross Nurses.
Characteristics of the Program
This program enjoys a number of positive particulars, to name but the most important ones:
- It offers a variety of specialties.
- Courses are offered at the Foundation’s four centers throughout Beirut: in Mazraa, Tarik Jadidah, Ras-El-Nabeh and Achrafieh.
- The courses are offered in four quarterly terms, of ten weeks each.
- A qualified team, specialists in their fields, offer the courses.
- All classrooms & labs are equipped with the best and latest materials & equipments.
- Every year, several thousand trainees, from all Lebanese regions, benefit from the program.
- The program is offered at no cost to the trainees except for a minimal contribution fee as a token of their commitment to persevere.
- Graduation certificates issued by the Makhzoumi Foundation, for most specialties, are eligible for legalization by the General Directorate of Vocational and Technical Training at the Ministry of Education and at the Ministry of Labor.
As our ultimate goal is to provide the best training possible, we revise and upgrade our curriculums on a regular basis. At the Makhzoumi Foundation, the process of improving the curriculums and updating the training tools is ongoing and continuous.
Fields of training:
The major fields of training that we offer are: computer science and foreign languages; ladies hairdressing, men barber, make-up, basic secretarial studies, computer hardware assembly and repair; photography, table serving, electrical repair, cellular repair, jewelry making and repairs, as well as Arabic literacy, in addition to occasional courses and workshops.
A brief description of the specialties offered at the training centers follows:
This specialty includes the following course categories:
- Computer Literacy Course: It is directed towards the trainees who did not have the chance to learn the use of computers. This course provides trainees with the necessary skills to use the basic applications of computers, including e-mail and Internet browsing. The course is covered in forty hours.
- Computer Hardware Assembly and Maintenance Course: During the forty hours of this course, trainees learn the constituents of the PC, its peripherals and its network environment. They also receive hands-on training on computer assembly, operation and maintenance.
- Advanced Computer Programs: This category of courses includes a large variety of professional computer applications, such as Auto CAD, Corel Draw, Photoshop, 3D Studio, Flash, FrontPage, HTML, Java Script, graphics, advanced MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access), Internet, and web page design and implementation.
English and French Language training courses are offered in multi levels of eighty hours each. All classrooms are equipped with computers and audiovisual equipment for supporting the teaching process.
This subject includes a number of courses outlined hereunder:
- Ladies Hair Dressing Course: This course is offered in two levels; Beginners and Advanced. The duration of each level is 80 hours. Trainees learn tinting, cutting, rolling, perms, oil bath, head massage and all other skills of the profession.
- Men Barber Course: The duration of this course is forty hours and covers the basic skills of the profession, including hair trimming using different methods (machine, razor, scissors), in addition to styling brushing, tinting, rolling, perms, oil bath and beard shaving.
- Make-Up Course: This course is offered in two levels, with a duration of eighty hours. Trainees learn the modern skills of the profession, including the selection of the appropriate cosmetics that best suit the skin, the face and the occasion.
- Advanced Skin Care Course: This is a forty- hour course; trainees learn advanced skin care, using state of the art equipment and technology. The trainers are expert beauticians who continuously update their knowledge by attending courses and seminars in Europe.
- Short Courses: A number of auxiliary short courses are offered regularly. They include simple nail care, acrylic nail decoration and henna.
Additionally, the Foundation provides courses in the following fields:
- Secretarial Studies are offered in two levels, with duration of 80 teaching hours for each one. Trainees learn general secretarial skills and typing in both Arabic and English. Both courses are marked with a brief introduction to accounting.
- Basic Music: It is directed basically towards those who wish to learn music basics and preliminary training on playing the electronic organ.
- Jewelry Design and Repair: This is a two-level course, covered in two terms with 80 hours of training in each term. In level one, trainees learn the design techniques of the trade and practice the use of hand tools. In level two, trainees execute small projects based on what they have learned in the basic level.
- Arabic Literacy: In this age of advanced technology, our societies still include a certain percentage of illiterate people. Due to the need and demand, three levels of Arabic Literacy courses are regularly given.
- Seasonal Courses: The Foundation provides reinforcement classes in mathematics and sciences to candidates of the official Brevet exams. Sessions start in February each year and continue until the date of the official exams. Short courses in different other fields are also offered upon demand.
- An electronic public library for children was established in 1998,its main objectives are:
• To improve the academic behaviour of children.
• To enhance their creativity and imagination.
• To raise awareness on the importance of environmental protection.
It is equipped with computers, books, a video-player, CDs and tapes. It welcomes kids whose ages range between seven and fifteen.
2- Micro Credit Program:
Over the years, microfinance worldwide has proved to be a powerful instrument for poverty reduction that enables low-income individuals to build assets, increase income and reduce their vulnerability to economic stress.
In Lebanon, this concept is gaining popularity, as several non-governmental local organizations, international finance institutions, donor countries, and banks are showing interest in developing the micro-enterprises through the provision of loans.
Roadside vendors, small grocers, craftsmen, artisans equipped with simple tools producing basic consumer goods, electricians, small shops, tailors; these are familiar sites in Lebanon. Commonly, such business ventures are referred to as informal sector enterprises, and account for 40% of Lebanon's economy. In order to survive, grow, and succeed, these ventures need, besides the know-how, the capital that comes from savings or in the form of loans from family members, friends, banks, non-profit organizations, or from other sources.
The importance of micro-credit as a beneficial tool for community development is the driving force behind the Makhzoumi Foundation/Micro-Credit program (MF/MC).
Micro-Credit Program Profile
In 1997, the Makhzoumi Foundation decided to establish a micro-credit program. With the help of a microfinance expert with extensive experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of microfinance projects in developing countries, the Foundation commenced with conducting a study on the Lebanese micro-enterprise sector.
Results of the market assessment showed that demand for micro-finance loans is enormous compared to the supply. Micro and Small-scale businesses employing less than 4 employees, and often run by women, usually need very short-term working capital loans. Because many are unable to satisfy the collateral requirements for commercial loans set by banks, or have to pay exorbitant interest rates on money borrowed from lenders, they are unable to reach their full potential and expand.
In 1998, the micro-credit program was launched. When it started, the program used to cover only Beirut, but has since expanded to cover the Greater Beirut area, and recently the North and Mount-Lebanon. As we establish ourselves in the market and cover gradually more of Lebanon's geographical areas, we continue to set new goals and respond to new challenges, in order to ensure the program's long-term viability and to provide efficient and tailor-made financial services to Lebanon's low-income group of the population, making the Foundation’s Micro Credit Program one of the leading microfinance programs in Lebanon.
Loans $50 to $1000 repayable over 6 to 12 months
- Individual loans for micro-enterprises and Small Business loans
- Start-up and existing activities
- Loans are secured by personal guarantees
• Repeat loans
• Training Workshop on business related topics
• Lectures on program benefits
• Yearly exhibition of clients' produce
Who qualifies for credit?
- Any Lebanese female/male entrepreneur who demonstrates the necessary skills to make the product or offer the service in a manner that customers are willing to purchase it
- Has a permanent residency in the community
- Is over 18 years of age
How the program works?
Applicants are referred to the program by introduction lectures at the Foundation's Civic Centers. Some of them are referred to the program by social institutions, community based organizations, and by past or current beneficiaries of the program. Others are drawn by word of mouth, or independently decide to drop in to obtain program help or related information.
Potential borrower is introduced to the program's terms of loan, its conditions, procedures and guarantees required. A loan application form is filled by the loan officer, at the client's place of business and all relevant information is then entered into the program Credit Management Information System. Loan size and term of repayment are geared to the client's current repayment capacity and project feasibility.
Approved applicant is then informed of the disbursement date
Above steps take a maximum of 10 days, after which, periodic on-site visits are conducted by the loan officer to follow-up on loan use and repayment. At the end of the loan period, an evaluation of loan impact and performance is made.
3- Awarness Program
The Awareness Program aims at disseminating information and knowledge, at raising awareness on issues of public concern and at mobilizing potentials and building capacities. Its main target groups include: Women, Children and Farmers and its goals are achieved through the implementation of the following activities:
These are held yearly to keep kids busy and entertained during the summer vacations. The daily activities include: educational and entertainment games, handicrafts (with emphasis on those made from solid house wastes), songs and dances, watching videos, environmental projects and reading. In addition, two trips are held during each camp which ends by a folkdance / talent show and a fair, whereby the children display their crafts and projects. Emphasis is always made on environmental issues and on raising general awareness during those activities.
- Outdoor / Holiday Activities:
With similar aims as the summer camp, several activities are held during the school holidays throughout the year. They mainly include contests of drawing, crafts, and educational games, to name a few, as well as trips and the Environmental Day that is organized using entertainment games, which convey environmental messages. During the annual feasts, parties are also held at the various centers of the Foundation targeting children from the various neighbourhoods.
- Career Guidance for Kids:
PROBE 2 is a special career guidance program that is designed for kids (aged 12-15 years). It includes 100 simple questions that indicate fields of interest and key strengths of every user. Accordingly, a list of career options is provided, based on the specific potential of every individual, whereby children are oriented towards their suitable future careers.
- Training sessions: various art-craft sessions (which include different household and office solid wastes), are held mainly for women and aim at the following:
* To provide participants with several skills.
* To enhance their creativity and to put to use each one’s potential.
* To raise awareness on the importance of environmental protection
Upon termination of every session, graduates receive a certificate of attendance and become eligible to participate at the exhibition.
- Exhibition: the workshop graduates can generate some income by displaying and selling their products at the annual exhibition held by the Foundation.
c-Seminars / Conferences / Flyers:
Seminars are held regularly at the civic centers, schools and villages, covering various topics related to the following fields: Education, Health, Prevention, Psychology and the Environment. Discussions are held at the end of every seminar whereby Flyers (that include tips and hints) are frequently distributed to attendees.
Conferences related to the above mentioned topics are also held.
Different flyers are also distributed during several other occasions including various subjects such as: Pesticide Handling, Hazards of Smoking, How to Quit Smoking, Study Skills, Tips and Hints for the Kitchen.
4- AGRICULTURE / ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM
A major goal of the Foundation is to preserve and care for our Environment.
Sustainable Agriculture also calls for management of natural resources in a way which ensures that their benefits are also available for the future.
This program includes several activities and projects with a view to the protection, preservation and improvement of the environment and the agricultural sector in the country.
- The project “ The Agro-Forestry Development Project of Degraded Lands of Lebanon ” is implemented in partnership with three European NGOs: INARE & KEDE (from Greece) and TC Dialogue Foundation (from Belgium).
Its main objectives are: Combating desertification and introducing new technologies in agriculture as well as new methods in Environmental Education. It includes a main nursery in Akkar / Northern Lebanon, which produces trees and plants, that are offered (along with the environmentally – friendly hydro-gel TC that stores water and provides the plants with several nutrients) to several local NGOs, municipalities and communities countrywide.
- The project “Basic Bee-keeping Skills Training for Women” is implemented in cooperation with the Japanese Embassy in Lebanon. Its main objectives are: providing opportunities for women to generate income and empowering them with self-confidence to play a productive role in their societies. It includes holding training sessions for 100 women at five different centers in Akkar on bee-keeping skills and providing them upon termination with hives and tools for starting their production. The needed equipment for honey extraction and maturation would also be offered to those five centers, whereby the women beneficiaries, can prepare and package their produce for selling.
Several activities are held within this field including: Tree Planting, Seed Collection, Environmental Education workshops, participation at National Environmental activities and cooperation with environmental Non-governmental Organizations.
Close coordination is made with Awareness Program in matters that concern environmental awareness, especially regarding: Seminars, Contests, Art-crafts and outdoor activities.
Paper Recycling Unit: was initiated in the year 2000 whereby office paper wastes at the Foundation are shredded and recycled. Cards and calendars are then made out of them and demonstrations are held for kids during related activities.
5- HEALTHCARE PROGRAM:
A number of basic principles determine the understanding of healthcare provision. Defining the role of each party involved in the sector and controlling the relationships among the different sectors in this regard is essential in order to provide the end user with an effective and efficient healthcare service.
According to the World Health Organization statistics, Lebanon ranked 91 in the provision of healthcare services, which only proves that there is a lack of a comprehensive and global healthcare structure protecting Lebanese against health related burdens.
Statistics also showed that the healthcare bill in Lebanon has come to exceed 10% of the total GDP. Due to lack of properly defined measures and policies in this sector, more than half of the population is not covered by any private or public insurance scheme, such as the National Social Security Fund, the Civil Servants Cooperative, the Military Medical Coverage, and private insurance companies.
Faced with the prevailing difficult financial and economic situation, an important percentage of these families find themselves indebted in order to cover their medical bill, which leads only to aggravating the social crises in Lebanon.
Non-Governmental Organizations played an important role in this field by creating a number of dispensaries and awareness medical centers to protect against and prevent diseases and their spread. Surely, this contribution helped in reducing the medical burden but still efforts need to be deployed in order to meet the significant demand for healthcare insurance.
It is from this perspective and reality, that Makhzoumi Foundation launched its Healthcare Program; in an effort to complement and strengthen the attempts currently set out to meet the demand for healthcare coverage.
Profile of the program:
The healthcare program was launched in August 2001, following several meetings held by Dr. Dureid Oueidat with a number of doctors to plan and implement the bases of the program.
The program aims at creating a healthcare network providing Lebanese citizens with medical care at minimal cost in doctors' private clinics.
Makhzoumi Foundation emerged as an intermediary between patients and doctors, laboratories, and pharmacies. Its health care program encompasses:
1- Doctors visits and laboratories services
2- Provision of medicines
3- Access to Pharmacies
4- Access to Hospitalisation
5- Access to Insurance policy at very attractive premium covering 100% in-hospitalisation
- A qualified medical body of more than 200 doctors and specialists including dentists and nutritionists providing their services at a minimal fee.
- Modern medical laboratories, X-rays, Physical therapy and radio centers, and an Audiogram Center.
- A dispensary at the Foundation Mazraa Civic Center, where medicines are also provided free of charge. In addition to a number of pharmacies that give discounts to Makhzoumi Foundation health cardholders.
- In parallel to these services, the Foundation holds and sponsors medical conferences, social and health related lectures and medical symposiums. To name but one, the first medical symposium held in Lebanon about "Organ Transplant" and attended by specialists and pioneers in the field from Lebanon and abroad.
How to benefit from the program?
The program welcomes all Lebanese citizens. Adherence is free of charge. Applicants are required to fill an application form and submit it along with copy of an Identity Card. A personal medical ID card is then issued which entitles its holder to benefit from the services of the healthcare providers. This service is provided by the Foundation free of any charge to the health cardholders. No fee is paid to the Foundation.
The healthcare program is in continuous expansion with a gradual increase in the number of partners in order to cover all areas of Lebanon.
The Foundation periodically updates the healthcare index booklet and distributes it to the program beneficiaries.
6- LEBANON’S AWARD FOR INNOVATION:
In our choice of the Foundation’s name is a message that stems from the History of the Makhzoumis, whose origins go beyond the Pre-Islamic era. The Islamic conquests there after, carried them from their Kuraichi cradle in the Holly Mecca to the far regions of the Levant. The Makhzoumi dynasty has provided Lebanon as well as the Arab and Islamic world with Scholars, Leaders and Emirs. But the legacy we are mostly proud of is Lebanon’s family martyr, the young Fouad Fayyad Makhzoumi, who was martyred with his friends when marching in a demonstration condemning the French mandate and demanding Lebanon’s Independence, on November, 13th 1943. Our Lebanon Award for Innovation Prize is to commemorate his memory.
Though we realize that martyrdom is the utmost of sacrifice and martyrs are the most generous and noble of people, the deepest meaning is that those who marched in the morning of that dark day, could not have done so, if it had not been for the national up rise for Independence expressed by Beirut and carried-out by all of the Lebanon.
Our Foundation has carried the torch and the message. In an attempt to commemorate Lebanon’s Independence in a way that fits with its humanitarian, educational, and social objectives, an annual prize amounting to fifty million Lebanese Pounds, is awarded to Lebanese citizens who contribute to promoting Lebanon’s name in all fields of creativity and education. A special committee selects the successful candidates. To name but a few:
- Mr. Elias Rahbani for his accomplishments in Music.
- Doctor Bassima Al-Hajj for her accomplishments in Education and Scientific Research.
- Professor Nadi Hakim for his participation in performing the first hand transplant in the world.
- Mr. Raymond Jbara for his accomplishments in acting, writing and directing plays.
- Mr. Wassim Fayed for his accomplishments in Technology.
- Miss Rana Khalil for her accomplishments in Interior Design.
- Mr. Ghabriel Yared for his accomplishments in Music. He is holder of an Oscar and several world prizes.
- Mr. Carlos Ghosn for his accomplishments in Industry. He is member of the Board of Directors at Nissan Automotive company.