Lebanon CSP Transforming Lives – Mohamed Danab
USAID Scholarship Recipient Completes Internship and Community Service as he Pursues a University Education
USAID’s Technical and Vocational Scholarship Program Enables Vulnerable Students to Enhance Their Employability Skills
In 2021, unemployment rates in Lebanon reached a new high, attaining around 35% of the workforce, up from 28% the previous year, thereby limiting opportunities for young people. This is particularly true for students, often from vulnerable backgrounds, who pursued a technical or vocational education and training (TVET), an underfunded sector in Lebanon which equally suffers from negative public perceptions. Under its workforce development component, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) works to counter this by taking a multifaceted approach to improving employment outcomes for TVET graduates. CSP works to improve the quality of TVET education and infrastructure in Lebanon, while also improving public perceptions of the sector. In parallel, CSP provides scholarships and internship opportunities to young people.
During his third technical year of Accounting at Foyer de la Providence, one of CSP’s partner TVETs in southern Lebanon, the 18-year-old Mohamed Danab was a recipient of CSP’s Jobs Education and Training (JET) scholarship. With limited resources to pursue his education, the JET scholarship covered Mohamed’s tuition, medical insurance, and provided him with a monthly stipend to cover his transportation fees for the duration of his course and internship, as well as a computer tablet to facilitate his e-learning. Scholarship recipients such as Mohamed are also required to participate in soft-skills training, community service activities, and a two-month internship. Mohammed – a shy and earnest young man – takes the chances he has been given very seriously: “I am extremely grateful to USAID and the CSP JET scholarship for giving young people like me a chance at a future,” he reflected in September 2021, just as his studies were drawing to a close. He is serious about his future and takes nothing for granted.
Throughout his course at Foyer de la Providence, Mohamed volunteered at The Orphans’ Society in Saida, where he assisted caring for the children. He remembers the experience with great fondness: “It brought me real joy to see the positive impact I have on the children, and it made me appreciate the value of helping those who are less fortunate in the community.” Mohamed subsequently undertook a two-month internship at a private sanitary product distribution company, where he developed transferable skills in the areas of customer service management, communication, and sales development. “Gaining hands-on experience was extremely important in preparing me for the job market here in Lebanon, especially in the current climate”, he related. After completing his degree, Mohamed successfully secured a place studying computer science at the Lebanese International University, starting in January 2022, which will enable him to pursue a career with promising growth potential in the Lebanese economy.
In a country marked by a deepening economic and political crisis, where many young people feel that the future holds little opportunity for them, USAID’s technical and vocational scholarship program stands as a beacon of hope for many who come from underprivileged backgrounds. Mohamed is just one of the 737 students so far who have benefitted from the scholarship and the opportunities which come with it.
“The opportunity I was offered through USAID’s JET scholarship program gave me invaluable hands-on experience which will really help me launch my career.”