© Qudra Programme

Qudra Lebanon Brings Syrian and Lebanese Women Together for Basic Nursing Training

From 15 May to 15 August 2017, each week from Monday till Friday – and sometimes even on Saturdays – a total of 40 Syrian and Lebanese women came together to receive a basic nursing training at Al Thabat Charity Association premises in Fih, Koura region of Lebanon.

Fih – Al Koura, one of the six districts of North Lebanon Governorate, is known for hosting an increasing number of Syrian refugees, who live in and around the refugee camps located in the area.

The socio-economic situation in the region is characterized by high levels of unemployment particularly among the youth and women, poor availability of educational institutions and restricted access to vocational education especially when it comes to Syrians, public services being overstretched with demand exceeding the capacity of institutions to meet the needs of displaced Syrians and the vulnerable Lebanese. The service sectors are also very much overburdened, especially the public health sector accumulating debt and Syrian patients unable to access basic health services due to rising costs.

It is within this context that the Qudra programme – a regional action financed by the EU Madad Trust Fund and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – and Human’s Duty Association, a Lebanese NGO specialising on creating job opportunities through vocational educational programs and social support, combined their forces and entered a unique partnership.

For a period of 3 months, 40 Syrian and Lebanese women beneficiaries were instructed on basic nursing training, which included topics such as first aid, patients care, elderly support and supporting the diabetes patients and their families. While parts of the nursing training curriculum was partly adopted from the Lebanese ‘Brevet Professionnel’, the 2 year official nursing programme, extra topics were added later on in order to match the actual needs of beneficiaries. A careful and comprehensive needs-based assessment was conducted before the onset of the training through visits and talks with the Syrian refugee families. Many of the displaced Syrians reported taking care of their elderly members in their families whom demand special health care and attention. In order to assure the credibility of this comprehensive training curriculum, the project cooperated extensively with Al Hayat Lebanese Technical School, which is certified by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of the Lebanese Government.

© Qudra Programme

During the 3-month training period, in addition to theoretical instructions provided by one nurse and one practitioner in class settings, students also had the opportunity to visit and receive practical lessons at the Tripoli Government Hospital, Albert Haykel Hospital and Al Koura Hospital. The practical sessions not only provided insight about the actual working environments, but also have helped the beneficiaries to connect with the hospital staff.

This unique project constituted an innovative approach and a response to the dire socio- economic conditions of Lebanon, a country that hosts approximately 1.5 million of displaced Syrians where more than 70 percent of them living below the poverty line. As a result of this project, these women are now donated with both theoretical and technical skills for a profession that would enable them to have jobs, improve their economic situations and participate positively in the society.

The ‘Basic Nursing’ project has been a part of a series of Qudra’s ‘Skills Development’ module activities in Lebanon aimed at supporting Syrian refugees, IDPs and members of host communities in acquiring new skills and vocational training in order to strengthen their resilience and contribute to their economic self-sufficiency. The series are to continue with other vocational training measures in the areas of line cooks, kitchen helpers, waiters and runners.