Our intern Fares Serhan shared his thoughts about Why LOYAC Matters:
"Today is in Our Hands."
"Children of today are the future of tomorrow. A common phrase that echoes whenever talk of the youth happens. Many are concerned with developing and empowering the youth, but little pave the way for that. LOYAC has taken the message to heart; they have developed the motto “Today is in our hands”. Since the events of 9/11 transpired, a group of Kuwaiti women were inspired to put terror in its place. They figured out the only way to do that is to implement values of peace at a young age, and that gave rise to LOYAC, which stands for LOthan Youth Achievement Centre. Bayt Lothan was the house that these women would meet up in and discuss matters regarding the youth. They started something great in 2002 and now 14 years later operating in three more countries LOYAC has more to offer.
LOYAC Lebanon stands to face the toughest of challenges. Amidst political turmoil children grow up to acts of violence, and sights of terror. They grow up not knowing what peace really is. To many, peace is the passing of a day without unnecessary fatalities; however, the lingering fear that a bomb is around the corner, or that a riot might break out a block away is not peace. So it is of no great surprise that children grow up to not care about personal and professional development, but rather they grow up to learn how to fight rather than resolve. This is where LOYAC Lebanon steps in; they teach them values of conflict resolution, and the values of volunteerism. These are only some workshops that are offered at LOYAC that try to raise values of peace. This does not even tell the whole story; LOYAC offers its applicants more than just workshops.
Along with the set of skills that they acquire, LOYAC provides each applicant with the opportunity to apply those skills and pay back the community before sending out the CVs of each applicant to companies that cater to their majors. This is the heart of LOYAC; it is this that separates LOYAC Lebanon from any other NGO in the country. The commitment they have taken to be there for the youth and to empower the youth is unprecedented. LOYAC matters to its students. The students create bonds, and make friendships for the long run; they learn how to deal with adversities by spreading a positive message to the world.
I have been working for LOYAC for 2 weeks only, and I have already seen over 50 students walk in and out of the office to say and to help out because they realise the good work that is being done here. LOYACers are different in three different aspects: their desire to work, their commitment to ethics, and their experience across different fields. These attributes are implemented at a grassroots level. A bottoms-up approach is the most effective approach for large-scale reform. Today is in our hand, and such a responsibility is to be honoured by sculpting today to stand strong into tomorrow."
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