High barriers for people with disabilities

Berlin / Beirut, 03 Dezember 2019

About one in eight people in Lebanon has a physical, sensory or mental disability. The difficult economic situation and high national debt further worsen the general supply situation in the country, especially for the many people who have fled from the surrounding crisis areas. Johanniter primarily supports Palestinian and Syrian young people with disabilities in their search for a qualified job in order to lead a life in dignity.

Girl in a Refugee Camp
Life in Lebanese refugee camps is marked by a lack of perspectives. The project is intended to give especially young people new opportunities.

Lebanon lacks clear provisions on rights, resources and services for people with disabilities. In many places they are discriminated, marginalized or experience violence. In particular, access to work and adequate basic services is usually non-existent or of poor quality. In 2000, Lebanon passed a law on the rights of people with disabilities (Law 220/2000) to integrate them into social and economic life. But to date, many of these commitments have not been met in the areas of employment, transportation and housing, or guarantees for health and education services. One reason for this is that people with disabilities do not have access to information about their rights and services.

Young people at hairdresser training
In a first project, 120 young people were prepared for professions that find customers in their living environment, e.g. hairdressers.

Together with the local organisation Naba'a, Johanniter is helping 540 young people from refugee camps to achieve economic and social independence. They are trained in a profession that has a future. The training takes place in centres certified by the Ministry of Education and must meet the requirements in order to provide adequate access for people with disabilities. In addition, the young people take part in courses to familiarise them with the main requirements of the labour market. "In doing so, they improve their communication skills vis-à-vis future employers and also learn how they can become actively involved in their communities in the long term," explains Linda Zimmermann, Johanniter project coordinator.

It is also crucial that the rights of people with disabilities are made known and respected. Acceptance together with an economically stable situation are an essential foundation for a dignified life.
Linda Zimmermann
International Assistance in Lebanon
 A boy plays with another boy who is in a wheelchair

International Assistance in Lebanon

In Lebanon, we support refugees from Palestine and Syria. We are committed to improve career prospects among young people with and without disabilities.

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