LIDTA [Liberal International Democratic Training
essential to the creation of Lebanon 2.0. LIDTA helped me to become more
politically involved. I learned how to establish a movement as Lebanon 2.0 and
how to get to the people I want to reach. Besides that it widened my network
with people from various countries. All of that made it possible for us to
establish the NGO and to set up the “Light up Beirut” project.”
Tiffany Geara, Alumni Liberal Leadership Academy (class of 2019)
Since the explosion on the 4th of August, Tiffany and Georges have been working on the ground in Beirut every day. After the explosion, a massive lack of food, clothes and housing emerged. Tiffany and Georges decided to take action and used their network from LIDTA to get international help. They came into contact with many different NGO’s but particularly important was their contact with fellow participant from LIDTA: Chaimae Bourjij from Morocco. Chaimae connected World Central Kitchen (or also known as WC-Kitchen) with the Lebanese participants. It was a very successful cooperation according to Tiffany: “The cooperation with WC-Kitchen went really smoothly. Thanks to our contact from LIDTA the organisation trusted us very quickly and we were already able to start distributing meals the second day after the explosion.” WC-Kitchen is a non-profit non-governmental organisation devoted to providing meals in the wake of huge disasters.
Tiffany and Georges, with the help of Chaimae and WC-Kitchen, started working with one kitchen and 800 meals a day. However, the need increased, and so they were forced to expand. In the end, Tiffany and Georges were working, through Lebanon 2.0, with nine kitchens and distributed more than 10.000 meals a day and more than 100.000 Lebanese received meals from Lebanon 2.0 so far. Yet, up to today the NGO still aims to distribute a 1000 meals a day for the people in need and for the people that are building up Beirut again.
Additionally, the houses of more than 300.000 people were affected by the explosion on the 4th of August in Beirut. Moreover, winter is coming, and winters are harsh in Lebanon. That is way the most important ongoing project of Lebanon 2.0 is “Light up Beirut”. Light up Beirut is an initiative designated to focus on performing repairs to the houses that have been most affected by the blast, yet have not received any help so far. It concentrates on providing items such as furniture, appliances, and/or lighting. Currently, Tiffany and Georges focus on providing mattresses, covers and pillows to thousands of households.
International Secretary of VVD International, Lennart Salemink, is very proud of Tiffany, Georges and their initiated project. Lennart sees Lebanon 2.0 as another reason to invest more in capacity building for youth in the MENA region as for example the Liberal International Democratic Training Academy : “The LIDTA initiative was called into live by VVD International and Liberal International to empower political talents from the MENA region. The story of Georges, Tiffany and Chaimae is a perfect example of political talents who join forces for a better tomorrow.”
LIDTA was launched in partnership with Liberal International (LI). In LIDTA, a carefully selected group of highly qualified individuals are trained on different personal and political skills that prepare participants for successful political careers in the 21stcentury. The Academy’s curriculum offers teachings on the most modern and effective political strategies to date, as well as equipping participants with the tools to build on their leadership skills. Internationally recognised expert trainers follow students throughout the process, ensuring the highest quality supervision and development support.
President of Liberal International Hakima el Haité: "Following the devastating and regrettable explosion that rocked Beirut on August 4, 2020 and the unprecedented loss of life, injury and damage to homes, offices and workspaces across the city, I am so proud that the LIDTA students Tiffany and Georges reacted so proactively to the challenge and sought to help those afflicted. In turn, LI has proactively supported the efforts of Lebanon 2.0 and the 'Light up Beirut' project. It is this kind of leadership and mutual support that will undoubtedly see Tiffany, Georges, and their fellow LIDTA students emerge as the liberal leaders of tomorrow."
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