Tadamoun wa Tanmia (TWT), based in Saida in South of Lebanon, works exclusively with children and young people. It was established in 1985, during the civil war, when the founders sought to bring the different communities together again. TWT (Solidarity And Development) works to achieve equal opportunities for everyone regardless of religious, ethnic or ideological background, mental or physical abilities.
The organisation believes that to prevent future conflict, it is important to get people of different religious and ideological backgrounds work together on developmental issues which are of concern to everyone in Lebanon such as agriculture, sustaining water resources, limiting the garbage production and fighting pollution of environment which can lead to conflict, especially with the influx of Syrian and Palestinian refugees. Refugees are receiving help and taking parts in some of the programs.
The focus on young people is rooted in a belief that to have a lasting impact on society, the youngest people need to be involved in working for the community to see out the awaited change. In its work with these target groups, TWT has the following philosophy:
In spite of our differences, let us live together peacefully, because diversity could be a source of strength if the right tools are available.
TWT works to accomplish certain aims and goals which include:
- Common coexistence to enhance citizenship.
- Tolerance and communication in respect of diversity.
- Respect for the right to be different. In respect to this particular goal, TWT also puts great focus on the inclusion of disabled people and those with special needs, and works to ensure that people with a mental challenge are able to live with dignity in their communities. It runs a special care house for them.
- The right for education should be provided for everyone, rich or poor, and people with special needs, as well as refugees. For this belief, the association has centers inside Ain El Helweh Palestinian camp, the most crowded in Lebanon, where it works with youth and women.
To avoid conflict in the future, TWT attempts to enhance conflict solving skills among children through Reading Clubs in public schools. These clubs encourage students to relate to others and participate in activities relating to rights, the environment and how to solve disputes peacefully. Since conflicts in a classroom are often a reflection of what happens in society (family, sect, community etc.), the need to enhance the ability of critical thinking and anger management among the youngest in society is a priority.
During summer, TWT also hosts youth camps and clubs to reduce prejudices and misunderstandings. The objective is to enhance social integration between youth that come from different regions and backgrounds. These camps encourage children to learn about each other while participating in different activities including dialogues, sports, drawing, celebrations and field trips to Palestinian camps in Saida and Beirut.
TWT is also involved in networking to coordinate the activities of various organisations in Saida city in order to avoid the duplication of work and to maximize the benefits of projects. Accordingly, it has greatly contributed to the establishment of a NGO platform in the city which is considered to be an important space for networking among local community based organisations in the city. TWT hosts, in its venues, a center for women empowerment. Sponsored by the Danish Refugees Council, the center is the result of fruitful cooperation between 12 associations. It provides five-month-courses of vocational training for Lebanese, Syrian And Palestinian women, some of them are battered and abused. They also get psychological support which extends to their children as well. TWT contributed with other associations in the establishment of a drug addiction prevention and healing center in Saida, a pioneering effort in the South.
TWT took part in the October 17th, 2019 uprising in defense of the rights of disabled people and those with special needs in inclusive and equal citizenship.