The DST program enhances opportunities for employability in growing online markets, develops interpersonal skills, and increases social cohesion among refugees and vulnerable Lebanese youth.
Lebanon grapples with the worst economic collapse, political instability, unprecedented refugees’ crisis, and severe social and ecological problems. These factors have direct repercussions on exacerbating unemployment rates among the youth, increasing internal polarizations and tensions between refugees and host communities.
The DST program provides vulnerable youth (18-35 years of age) from underserved communities with technical expertise, and relevant soft skills to prepare them for employment in the expanding digital based economy, while emphasizing on teamwork and project-based deliverables as means to encouraging social cohesion.
Spanning over 10 to 12 weeks, the program, designed by AUB experts, covers basic and advanced courses including Python and full stack web design, English language in face-to-face and online formats and soft skills for career readiness, free-lancing and entrepreneurship. Following graduation, dedicated staff connect program participants to opportunities for further education, training, internships, and work as appropriate (both virtual and non-virtual). All aspects of the program are designed to increase participants’ self-confidence and reduce isolation.
Since its inception in 2016 until the end of 2021, DST reached more than 3,000 beneficiaries across four governorates in Lebanon, with 77% being female participants. Of those who graduated, 13% secured employment.