Nabaa (meaning water spring in Arabic) was established in 2001. It focuses on human rights, women’s rights, children’s rights and community development targeting both Lebanese and Palestinian communities. They reach out to Syrian refugees as well, focusing on bridging common grounds.
The organization applies a holistic approach in its strategies and program implementation by working with several groups within the community (children, parents, teachers etc) along with NGOs and governmental agencies.
Its vision is that of a community in which each and every individual can be part of a decision making-process, thus it works to empower communities to uphold children and women’s rights and human rights - no matter how hard the security and economic burdens are.
After the conflict in a Palestinian camp in Northern Lebanon, Nabaa sought to diffuse the tension and to provide a forum for discussion and constructive debate for the Palestinian and Lebanese communities. 60 young people from both communities were trained to work together in reinforcing the inter-cultural and mutual understanding among themselves and their communities. For this purpose, a youth dialogue center was established where the skills of both Palestinians and Lebanese in Baadawi, Akkar and other underprivileged areas in North Lebanon, were developed and empowered. Mutual understandings, values and cultures are always emphasized to counteract any manipulation by political agendas and parties.
Nabaa also implemented a project addressing women in times of war by making sure they have equal access to protection, basic goods and services. Special attention was attributed to forcibly displaced women, especially marginalized adolescents and those at risk of sexual abuse. The main intervention was empowerment of more than 300 women and adolescents to overcome the psychological difficulties they endured, as well as 120 adolescents and young girls who dropped out of schools by enrolling them in vocational training centers so they find jobs at a later phase.
For Ain El Hilweh and Mieh w Mieh, which are camps in Saida area, a protective project known as "Youth into Action" was established to help young people who are at particular risk of getting involved in the armed clashes that often erupt in the first camp. Two youth groups were established in both camps to promote dialogue and conflict resolution.
In general Nabaa's work with youth focuses on fostering a culture of peacebuilding, non-violence, respect for diversity, gender equality and social inclusion, as well as training on communication skills, conflict resolution, group dynamics, social media activism, training of trainers and advocacy negotiation. It reached out to more than 1,000 beneficiaries, among them Syrian refugees. All were lacking opportunities of self-expression and self-realization. It also works to raise awareness against early marriages.
Lebanese youth began to visit the Ain El Hilweh and Mieh w Mieh camps after overcoming their concerns about the security situation and their personal safety there to focus on communicating with Palestinian youth. They started understanding how their Palestinian counterparts live in a camp, and later participated in social events inside. Some Palestinians left a political party and armed group they previously joined, started decent works and changed their attitudes towards the use of violence. They preach others to follow their lead. And a marathon was organized in Ain el Hilweh, encouraging everyone to run for peace and a better life. Summer camps are a main activity in the camp to give the youth opportunities for entertainment and self expression. The work also includes other Palestinian camps such as the Bus camp in Tyre area.
In addition a youth empowerment project is also implemented in Saida and Tyre areas targeted to people with disabilities who experience greater social, educational and economic challenges than others. It includes Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Hundreds received vocational training and life skills training as a means of economic empowerment as Palestinians are denied access to the formal labor sector in Lebanon. Syrian refugees received food vouchers and other kinds of help.
Nabaa also provides mental health help and psychological support in the Palestinian camps for refugees affected by the Syrian crisis. So far, more than 2,500 children and 2,000 women have been empowered in psychological activities and awareness sessions. It lobbies for free education til high school for all children, regardless of nationalities, present on Lebanese soil.