A delegation from the Swiss Parliament including Montreux Mayor Laurent Wehrli, Deputy Ambassador of Switzerland to Lebanon Elizabeth Galen, and National Program Support Officer Maria Abdel Rahman, met with the Women's Coalition for Tripoli at their Center in Tripoli, in the presence of the President of the Lebanese Center for Studies and Research, Dr. Hassan El-Gaziri, Deputy Director Mohamed Minkara, Engineer Bara Shiboub and members of the Women's Coalition for Tripoli such as the Director of Educational Programs Maha al-Fadel, Motiaa El Hallak, Safa Sobha and Rawaa El Soufi.
The Delegation presented the projects that were funded by the Swiss Embassy and implemented by the Coalition. Dr. Ghaziri discussed the idea behind establishing the Coalition and presented the most important projects, thanking the Embassy for their support.
In her turn, Ms. Fadel discussed the school support courses and their importance in supporting students from poorer communities, and how to choose teachers with valuable educational experience. Additionally, Ms. Fadel explained about the psychological support provided to students via these remedial classes and the necessity to follow up on students' educational needs.
Mrs. Sobha shared her experience as a member of the Coalition and discussed the Robotics and computer maintenance courses organized by the Coalition and the great demand for such type of courses and trainings. She highlighted the importance of the projects implemented by the Coalition in relation to the impact it has has on the targeted beneficiaries.
The Delegation proceeded to engage in an official meeting with the Mayor of Tripoli, Engineer Ahmad Qamareddine, in his office at the Municipal Palace in Tripoli. The Delegation thanked the Mayor's efforts and support for the success of these vital projects. Future projects were agreed upon, and a cooperation agreement was proposed between the Municipalities of Tripoli and Montreux in Switzerland.
From his part, Qamaruddin welcomed the Delegation, thanking them for their interest and support for some of the projects in the more urbanized areas of Tripoli, specifically in Bab El Tebbaneh, which has suffered much deprivation and poverty due to the scourge of war during the past few years.
The members of the Delegation then visited the Tebbaneh Public Garden and Football Field, which was rehabilitated last year. Wehrli was introduced to the valuable rehabilitation work carried out with regards to the seats, landscaping, water ponds, corridors, hammocks, games, health facilities, etc. Wehrli also learnt about the support for the small enterprises activity, also implemented by BRIC and the Coalition, jointly.
As Deputy Director of BRIC and Project Lead in Tripoli, Mr. Minkara expressed the need for community members to come together and collaborate in the maintenance of the Public Garden and Football Field.
"In our capacity as a BRIC and the Coalition, we will work towards implementing more projects in the future, targeting other neighborhoods of Qobbeh and Abou Samra, in addition to other urbanized areas of the city", said Minkara.
The visit concluded by meeting with some of the small-business entrepreneurs that were funded through the Call for Proposals launched by BRIC and the Coalition, including the Sewing Factory project in Jabal Mohsen, where Minkara briefed the Delegation on the details of the Factory's work and what they have achieved so far, not to mention the increase in the number of workers and productivity achieved.
At the end of the tour, the Delegation expressed its happiness with the progress that has been made in Tripoli and promised further cooperation between the Swiss Embassy and the Coalition.