The Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS) builds bridges between the university community, stakeholders, humanitarian agencies, policymakers, and community partners, with an overarching mission to integrate developmental planning aimed at empowering marginalized communities with experiential learning for leadership development and transformative education.
The unprecedented scale of destruction of the July 2006 War in Lebanon created a remarkable momentum to volunteer-for-relief among wide numbers of American University of Beirut students and faculty members and founded a calling that led to a university "Task Force for Reconstruction". After two years of decentralized and sporadic efforts, the Task Force realized the imperative of establishing the CCECS in 2008, and to promulgate this concept within the university’s strategic plan.
Accordingly, CCECS has developed an operating framework in order to become more responsive to the exacerbating local needs on one end, and to be more strategic in pervading the culture of impactful engagement across all faculties on the other end. The dyad of (1) Transformative Education through Civic Engagement and (2) Community Development Projects, reflects CCECS's journey through the decade.
Key performance indicators since 2015:
- Almost 8,000 students have participated in CCECS activities
- More than 75,000 volunteering hours completed
- Engagement with over 700 non-governmental organizations
- Over a thousand full-scholarship students have engaged in volunteering rotations, leadership development workshops, community-based internships, and community service projects
- 80 student-led community service projects implemented across Lebanon
- Reached over 20,000 direct beneficiaries in marginalized communities
- More than 60 university experts have contributed operational research to CCECS community development projects