LAUNCH OF ULYP’S ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

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We are proud to announce the launching of ULYP’s Alumni Association, ULYPAA. This event was a process that culminated in an event that took place on Friday March 25 at the Golden Tulip Galleria Hotel. Forty of our university graduates attended this event and discussed the value of alumni associations. We all agreed that while each student is a member of his or her alma mater’s alumni association, they are also members of the ULYPAA. The goal of ULYPAA is to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between ULYP and its alumni. At this happy event full of smiles, and after a brief opening about ULYP’s mission and vision, the alumni filled out a survey identifying their wishes and goals for the Association. Then, each cohort of a graduating class met on their own to nominate and elect their representatives to sit on the committee governing and managing the Association’s activities. The results were then shared and everybody enjoyed a lunch together.

The ULYPAA governing committee has the following members:

From ULYP:

  1. Melek El Nimer: ULYP founder
  2. Nicole Eid Abuhaydar: ULYP director
  3. Salim Karroum: ULYP scholarship committee member
  4. Diab Tabari: ULYP scholarship committee member

From the Alumni:

  1. Ahmad Tuhaibish: ULYP Class of 2013
  2. Alaa Othman: ULYP Class of 2013
  3. Mohammad Mirhiji: ULYP Class of 2014
  4. Lama Kilzar: ULYP Class of 2014
  5. Hiba Mawed: ULYP Class of 2014
  6. Fouad al Banna: ULYP Class of 2015
  7. Hiba Shanaa: ULYP Class of 2015

 

ULYP PARTICIPATES IN AUB PANEL DISCUSSION

AUB lecture NLOn March 16, our founder Melek El Nimer and our Director Nicole Eid Abuhaydar were invited to be part of a panel discussion organized by the American University of Beirut. During the lecture entitled ‘Reversing Social Exclusion? Education and the Role of NGOs in Lebanon,’ Melek and Nicole informed the public about ULYP’s mission, our educational projects and how we combat social exclusion. The audience was familiarized with the BRIDGE program through the testimonials of BRIDGE alumni Hiba Shanaa and BRIDGE student Hiba Dahche who shared their personal experiences. A great way to acquaint a larger public with the work of ULYP!

 

ULYP RECEIVES THE SPIRIT OF HUMANITY AWARD!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

We are honored to announce that the Arab American Institute Foundation is awarding ULYP the 2016 Khalil Gibran ‘’Spirit of Humanity’’ Award for Institutional Excellence. Our founder Melek El Nimer and our Director Nicole Eid Abuhaydar will attend their annual Gala in DC this April and receive the award. In their letter to us, they say that the Gibran Award is bestowed annually on ‘’individuals and organizations whose work reflects the ideals of the great Lebanese-American poet by promoting inclusion, cooperation and greater understanding among people with diverse backgrounds’’, a vision that continues to guide the work of ULYP. The invitation further stated that ‘’the work of Unite Lebanon Youth Project has created a space for the vulnerable youth of Lebanon – Palestinians, Lebanese, and Syrians – to believe success is possible even in the midst of physical, financial, and mental insecurity. You are leading a transformation towards unity and understanding between different nationalities that do not naturally interact and work together towards a brighter future. We would be honored to recognize your accomplishments in April.’’ Previous recipients of the Award for Institutional Excellence have been, among others, Amnesty International USA, Search for Common Ground, Children’s Defense Fund, and Habitat for Humanity. This is an incredible honor and we would like to congratulate each and every one of you, our dear ULYP family, friends, and supporters, for this wonderful recognition.

 

SECOND ANNUAL CARING COATS CAMPAIGN

A big thank you to everyone who donated clothing for our second annual Caring Coats Campaign. We were able to clothe over 1,500 people this year! This is triple the amount from last year and we are confident we can continue to grow. We would also like to recognize all of our partners who hosted collection boxes: FNB branches across Lebanon, Microsoft, the American Community School, Lebanese American University and the Palestinian Cultural Club, Ahlieh School, Sivananda Yoga, Beirut Yoga Center, CFC, Exhale Gym, and Hamsa Yoga. The award for most boxes collected goes to the FNB branch in Halba, who collected 32 large bags of clothing! Thank you to Rima Zantout, who coordinated from the home office, and to Joyce Mcheileh for her efforts in Halba. And a special thanks to our volunteers  Taraneh Bastani and Raed Shami for organizing, to Aramex for donating all the boxes we needed for sorting and transportation, and to Virgin Radio for helping spread the word.

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Celebrating Education – The Future Starts Now

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ULYP celebrated the achievement of 81 students who pursued higher education and succeeded in graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from universities in Lebanon and abroad, all with the support of ULYP’s scholarship program.   ULYP’s class of 2015, together with many friends, donors, supporters and partners, gathered on our campus in Dibbiyeh to celebrate education and remind everyone that education is the ultimate tool for social change.

4The event included two inspiring speeches from two amazing guest speakers; Dr. Mohamad Zakaria and Dr. Yassine Daoud. Dr. Zakaria is one of the top 10 most educated men in the world, and Dr. Yassine Daoud is a world-renowned specialist in ophthalmology. Both men spent their formative years in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and attended UNRWA schools, but managed to achieve excellence through education, determination, and having people who believed in them. In their addresses, they both encouraged the graduates to continue their education, pursue their dreams and give back to their communities. The event also included a musical section presented by the children from our Artists and Actors program, who sang traditional Arabic songs- Muwashahat- to the audience. These 8-11 year-old children learned the songs on a weekend retreat through ULYP’s CIRCLE project, in partnership with UNICEF. We hope they will one day become the future ULYP graduates. The whole event was broadcast live on ULYP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and guests and students were encouraged to post photos and quotes using #ulypgrads.

As well as all receiving certificates of achievement, some students were recognized with additional awards in five categories during the event. These were:

  1. The Beirut Marathon Association Helping People RUN award.
  2. The Giving back to the Community Award
  3. The Following One’s Passion Award
  4. The Mohammad Zuhdi Nashashibi Science and Technology Award
  5. The Abuhaydar Honor Society Award

Finally, two ULYP graduates addressed their peers and spoke about their university transition and the road that lies ahead. We felt very proud as the graduates marched onto stage wearing blue stoles to collect their certificates of achievement. Mabrouk to all, we look forward to following your progress as you embark on your futures!

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ULYP’s First Fundraising Event – a Success!

PosterAfter two years of debating what the perfect fundraising event for ULYP would be, something unique, fun and offering a great time for all, we decided on a concert. Accordingly, on the 6th of April we successfully held ULYP’s first fundraising event ever. The concert was given by the wonderful oud group Le Trio Joubran at Music Hall. The three Joubran brothers gave the packed venue a night to remember, filled with amazing music and a fantastic atmosphere. The audience was enthralled and so were the musicians!

 

The Trio has been playing for over 10 years, transforming traditional oud music into an original and passionate mix of traditional local music, jazz and flamenco. Their unique style blends poetry and oud seamlessly together with a superb outcome. Their last album was heavily based around recordings of Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry, bringing an unusual depth to their music. They concluded our concert with a unique piece played by the three brothers on one oud. Yes, you heard it, that’s 6 hands playing one piece on one oud in total synchronicity. In case you missed it or would like to see it again, please visit ULYP’s YouTube page to see them in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mptAXUJmdY.

Trio JoubranMost importantly, the event was a great success both in raising funds for ULYP’s programs, as well as in increasing awareness of ULYP among the general public. Regular tickets sold through Virgin Ticketing Office were sold out days before the concert; likewise, patron tickets sold at ULYP all went ahead of time. Moreover, in response to popular demand, standing tickets were also sold at the door.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of the wonderful people who believe in ULYP and our mission. Our most heartfelt thanks go to Rami El Nimer for his sponsorship, to Karim Ghattas and Liban Jazz for organizing this amazing evening, to Michel Elefteriades and Music Hall for hosting the event and to all the patron ticket holders, ULYP Board, friends, supporters and concert goers.

The $21,000 raised at the event will support us in growing our services and reaching out to more and more vulnerable children, youth and women to empower them and prepare them for a better future and a united Lebanon.

1.5 Million Dollar Donation!

ULYP is extremely pleased to announce that the Government of Qatar and the Qatar Development Fund generously donated 1.5 million dollars to support scholarships for 24 Palestinian students identified, trained and mentored by us. This fund covers their scholarships as they pursue their university education either at the American University of Beirut or the Lebanese American University. ULYP is very grateful to have received the first $500,000, which is already helping students on their path to success.

ULYP is humbled by this generous donation and is looking forward to helping more and more students reach their potential and acquire university degrees.

Young, Strong and Peaceful! – Children Running for the ULYP Cause

Youth Race 2On March 22, over 6000 enthusiastic children and youth ran the 5km Youth Marathon in Dbayeh. ULYP’s participation in the marathon was made possible thanks to First National Bank (FNB), who sponsored 18 underprivileged children to run. Additionally, children from the American Community School (ACS) paid twice the established race fees in order for a child from a ULYP program to be able to participate alongside them.
In addition to the race, running shoes collected by the Beirut Marathon Association will be distributed to underprivileged children in our network. ULYP is very grateful for the support of the BMA, and hopes that proper running shoes will give these children the possibility to feel the joy of running and to contribute to a healthy and happy lifestyle.Youth Race 1

ULYP would like to give a big thank you to all the participants, the BMA, the students at ACS and to FNB for sponsoring children’s race fees and transport.

ULYP at the Annual CSR Lebanon Conference

For the second year in a row, ULYP participated in the CSR Lebanon Forum that took place December 8, 2014, at the Phoenicia Hotel. Now in its 4th year, this year’s conference had a greater number of attendees, larger panels, and more topics. Ten of ULYP’s BRIDGE students, who study business at AUB and LAU, were invited to attend the whole day and receive first-hand information about CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in Lebanon.

ULcsr lebanonYP hosted a booth in the NGO Exhibition Hall where many conference guests learned about us and added their names to our contact list to receive our publications.  ULYP’s director, Nicole Eid Abuhaydar, also presented the work we do during the final session of the conference, namely the Civil Society Hyde Park. Mr. Gilbert Doumit from the Beyond Reform and Development organization moderated this session.

We are grateful to be part of this fantastic opportunity to learn, network and gain visibility. Great conference, we look forward to the next one!

Take Your Chance and Lead

This January, 25 of our Skills4life students who had developed business ideas with great potential during the semester got the chance to develop their ideas further and present them in front of a panel of judges at the second Leadership Weekend.  We were again amazed by the potential of the youth and the ideas they develop. The 5 finalist teams p

LeadershipWeekend (3)resented in front of a panel of judges: Salim Karroum from FNB, Mohammad Khattab from al Gezairi and Nada Khorshid from Welfare Association.  The students were well prepared in terms of concepts, presentation skills and teamwork and we are all proud of their achievements. The winning team’s business idea, Solar Power Machine, is developing and selling solar panels for traffic lights.

The ‘Leadership weekend’ is the final activity that culminates the skills learned by secondary students throughout the Skills4Life semester. Winning teams are offered internships in organizations depending on their interests and future ambitions. The runner up teams also get to intern within Skills4Life’s three partner organizations, ULYP, Welfare Association and INJAZ Lebanon.

To prepare our 25 students, aged 17 and 18, for their internshipsLeadershipWeekend (2), we will conduct a workshop addressing topics such as: what is an internship? Internship do’s and don’ts, how to benefit from your experience, work ethics, office etiquette and more. The organizations hosting these students will give written assessments on their performance during the internship, which students can include in their profile as they apply for universities and jobs in the future.

We appreciate all the effort the participants, judges, trainers, partners and schools that went into making this Leadership weekend a success.

LeadershipWeekend (4)Skills4Life is funded by the European Union.