KARAMA Project – Blue Mission Organisation
Blue Mission Organization is based in Saida, South Lebanon. We are a non-political/non-sectarian NGO working in the most vulnerable cadastres (according to the UNHCR Inter-Agency - 251 Most Vulnerable Localities). Blue Mission Organization was born out of the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) when its founder, educational psychologist Sana El Bizri, sought to alleviate the widespread suffering through her work as country representative, coordinator and trainer with Terre des Hommes, MSF, and Enfants Réfugiés du Monde. In 2002 she founded the cooperative Blue Mission/Training Center for Community Development in Saida, South Lebanon (TCCD). She adapted a Canadian peace and capacity building program (“Ambassadors of Peace”) to the Lebanese situation, thereby developing a grounded curriculum for positive change and conflict transformation. In 2006, Blue Mission gained official recognition as an NGO. Since its foundation, Blue Mission has implemented numerous projects in collaboration with local, regional and international partners including UNICEF, UNHCR, UNIFIL, UNSCO, Première Urgence International, Islamic Relief Worldwide, IDEALS UK, Lebanese American University, and more. It has developed an excellent reputation as a non-political, non-sectarian movement that supports women and girls, men and boys regardless of their social, ethnic, religious, national, or gender background.
If Blue Mission in the past implemented projects in a very large range of sectors (education, health, mental health, PSS, research, vocational training...), our main focus today is health and mental health provision. Our biggest project is named KARAMA, aiming at improving the health outcomes for families, reducing preventable maternal and child mortality, reducing stress and psychological suffering of vulnerable people, providing them with information and building support networks. This project is divided in 3 major parts.
- First, a Mobile Medical Unit providing comprehensive reproductive healthcare and psychosocial support to marginalized families and communities of Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian nationality. This Unit is implementing a large range of awareness sessions and PSS activities on subjects like violence, child protection, self esteem, reproductive rights or contraception. Access to health is moreover provided with the help of a physician giving free consultations and medications. Beneficiaries that need additional care are referred to other health providers.
- Second, the beneficiaries needing psychological support are referred to a psychologist and a drama therapist working in our center to be provided with free sessions.
- Finally, this program is now complemented by the “Play to Learn program”, providing Early Childhood Education to Syrian Refugees and children with no other mean of schooling before the age of 7.
We serve more than 35 shelters and rural areas in El Nabatieh, South Lebanon and Mount Lebanon Governorates, reaching around 1,200 beneficiaries per month.
The work implemented by Blue Mission today was shaped by an analysis of the data and statistics on humanitarian needs in the region. The Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LRCP) 2017- 2020 showed that SGBV is one of the main protection concerns affecting host and refugee populations. The data collected through the Gender-Based Violence Information Management System showed that on average 90% of reports of SGBV have involved women and girls. As of August 2018, 19% of reported sexual and gender-based violence incidents involved children. The most commonly reported types of violence involved physical violence (38%), mainly within the family or home, sexual violence including rape and sexual assault (16%), emotional violence, as well as forced and child marriage. According to the Inter-Agency Coordination Lebanon 2019 March Statistical Dashboard, out of 140,000 people at risk and survivors of SGBV only 18,873 are accessing services. The number of boys and girls receiving case management services and assisted through Child Protection focused psychosocial support is 9,415 out of 24,000 requiring services. But due to a lack of reporting we estimate that the number of cases is much higher.
Displacement increases the risk of SGBV as does lack of residency. 54% of refugees are under age 18, and two percent have a disability, painting the picture that Syrian children are very vulnerable towards SGBV. The VASYR 2018 has reported that caregiver violence remains high with 73% of Syrian refugee children having experienced a form of discipline, either physical or psychological.
Encompassing these issues at large, Karama is providing assessment, referrals, therapy and PSS activities to survivors of SGBV. Moreover, populations at risk are provided with awareness sessions, information, PSS activities and a network of support. Our program also target Child Protection issues through the various PSS and educational activities implemented. Finally, access to basic Health and Mental Health care is provided to vulnerable population and refugees.
Blue Mission has therefore the potential and capacities to provide confidential, safe, and long-term psychosocial support services, medical assistance, and awareness raising for at risk and victims of SGBV. We adhere to a strong message from UNFPA: “all humanitarian personnel have the responsibility to assume GBV is taking place, to treat it as a serious and life-threatening protection issue, and to take action described in to minimize GBV risk through their sectorial interventions, regardless of the presence or absence of concrete ‘evidence’ (GBViE Minimum Standards Finalization and Validation Workshop).”
SGBV remains unexposed and widespread in Lebanon, especially the most vulnerable areas. Psychosocial support, medical, legal services, and protection are lacking in quality, especially confidentiality, and quantity. As we begin to change the attitudes in society about SGBV support for new laws and existing laws will increase. Additionally, the stigmatization of psychosocial services will decrease and more victims will have the ability to seek support and legal redress.
However, due to the dire conditions of the camp (making basic needs a main priority), and the time it takes to build trust to facilitate psychosocial care or legal redress, cases of sexual, gender based and domestic violence (SGBV) are still going unreported as such and victims are not receiving the care and support they need. In the field it has taken us almost a year to gain the trust of our beneficiaries to start to report SGBV offenses due to the lack of a reliable, anonymous, and confidential reporting system; confidential and safe follow-up services including face-to-face counselling; and security. A long-term, sustainable intervention in these areas, taking a systematic reporting approach to combat SGBV is therefore crucial, and needs to be implemented by an organization known for its confidentiality and which beneficiaries trust, such as Blue Mission. We have worked hard to gain the confidence of beneficiaries and to be known in these communities as a trusting presence.
However, despite the strong foundation in the communities we serve, the importance of the services provided and the reliance of our beneficiaries on their provision, we were not able to secure the future of KARAMA.
We are therefore calling for tenders to secure the funding of KARAMA, and avoid a disruption in the provision of health, mental health, educational and PSS activities provided to vulnerable population of South Lebanon.
How to apply
Kindly send an email to [email protected]Expired