Empowerment

EMPOWERMENT

Women, youth and children are amongst the most vulnerable groups in a humanitarian crisis. Our empowerment programs are designed to provide secure livelihood opportunities, increase self-development and encourage these groups to become active and engaged members of their communities.

WOMEN'S CENTRES

The challenges faced by refugee women are diverse. Some will have lost husbands to the conflict and others children. As a result, many face the difficult transition of becoming the breadwinner for their family, at the very moment that they need the time and space to grieve the loss of their family, friends and home.
 
SB OverSeas has established a number of dedicated women’s training centres in or near refugee camps. Three of our women’s centres are located in Lebanon: Beirut, Arsal and Saida. 
 
Our programmes in the women’s centres are designed to empower women in an economical, psychological and social sense. The primary focus is to provide vocational training in a marketable skill. This is to provide single mothers and other women with a means of earning an income in a new country. The training we offer includes courses in sewing, embroidery, knitting, doll and jewellery making and hairdressing. We supplement this training with efforts to market their skills and products. We do this through (a) hosting and attending small exhibitions where we sell their products; (b) supporting them in setting up their own businesses; and (c) helping them to secure a stable job in a local business.
 
In our centres, we also offer a programme of psychological and social support to women. Through a number of creative and social activities, we offer a safe space for women to engage in discussion with eachother. This creates a network of mutual support and is key to rebuilding community networks.
 
We provide a childcare facilities for the women. This allows them to attend our training and empowerment courses in the knowledge that their children are in a safe and stimulating environment. In our Bukra Ahla centre in Beirut, this day care is provided on our premises by a team from Save the Children.

YOUTH

In Lebanon, 1 in 3 children is a Syrian refugee. Many young refugees find themselves in a particularly vulnerable situation due to social and economic pressures. Due to the dire situations in refugee camps, our team have noted an increase in the rate of child marriage and child labour as well as a lack of access to education. We aim to empower these youths through education, vocational training, personal development activities and psychosocial support.
 
In our flagship Bukra Ahla centre in Beirut, we began a new programme for young refugee women in September 2016. The focus is to provide education and social support, as well as to protect them against the particular threats they face, such as child marriage. Through our empowerment programs, we aim to develop their sense of selves and allow them to regain their voice in the community and society. Additionally, we engage with families and communities to raise awareness of the affects of child marriage.
 
In Brussels, we run two programs for youth: a civic engagement programme called s’engager pour la paix for youth and an integration program called SB Espoir.
 
S’engager pour la paix brings together local teenagers living in underprivileged neigbourhoods on the weekends to share their experiences of adolescence, as well as to discuss civic themes and values. The emphasis is on participation in peace-building and solidarity. Participants are given an active role in helping us organise our events, collections and other activities for refugees in Brussels.
 
Additionally, in Brussels, we also run a programme called SB Espoir. This is a weekend citizenship and integration program for unaccompanied refugee minors living in asylum centres in and around Brussels.
 
The youth in these centres find themselves in an unfamiliar environment after having fled their homes to excape conflict and undergoing an often traumatic journey into and across Europe. Through creative, constructive and sporting activities, we help them find their feet in a new society and foster inclusiveness and intercultural dialogue.
 
This programme is supported by volunteers. If you live in the Brussels area, and interested in taking part, please click here for more information.

VOLUNTEERING

Volunteers are a vital component of SB OverSeas. They ensure the successful conception and delivery of our projects, including teaching in our schools in Lebanon, collection campaigns for clothing and food, as well as youth civic engagement programmes. Our volunteering programmes offer opportunities for young people to experience new roles, responsibilities and cultures.

PEACE BUILDING

SB OverSeas is active in promoting peace-building and raising awareness of refugee and community issues. Our activities have notably included participation in conferences organised by Religions For Peace.

Additionally, our chairperson has been honoured for her work in fostering integration and peace by the King and Queen of Belgium.

EMPOWERING SYRIAN WOMEN

SB ESPOIR IN ACTION

OUR PICTURES

READ OUR FACTSHEET

READ MORE HERE

SB OverSeas: A Belgian non-profit organisation

SIGN-UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Join our mailing list