Over the last weeks, the four pilot projects of the LASERMed initiatives have made huge progresses and are almost closed!

In As Salt, Jordan, the City Council benefited from training in the identification and formulation of economic promotion policies, fundraising, and grant management. 14 people from the council’s staff were identified and mobilized to participate in 3 sessions. The second activity, now closed, is the training and mentoring program on the creation and management of projects and branding for companies that work at home in the field of food and catering, mainly women. A total of 19 candidates applied to the training program, the result of a campaign launched on different platforms (Facebook) and in contact with local associations), of these, 12 were selected based on their qualifications and results of the previous assessment. Finally, it also closed the training and mentoring program on the creation and management of projects and brands for unemployed but highly qualified young people in the field of digital services and products, with a total of 12 selected youngsters.

MedCities on the field: Zgharta-Ehden visit to know the training programs

For the case of Zgharta-Ehden, Lebanon, MedCities recently traveled to the city to meet with some of the key actors. Several meetings were planned with Mr. Ghassan Tayoun, Council member, Josiane Kandalaft, Project coordinator and Abdallah Abdul Wahab, MedCities Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC) Coordinator in Lebanon, to take stock of the different trainings that are currently being implemented. During the diagnosis phase of the LASERMED project, participatory sessions with economic actors led to defining training programs to promote employability for youngsters:

– Olive oil soap making

– Textile design with recycled clothes

– Audio-visual and media production

– Online marketing and branding

The training started at the beginning of February and will last until the end of March. The visit included a mid-term assessment of the activities together with the trainers and some of the learners. The expected outcomes of these trainings are the setting up of social enterprises with a circular economic focus on olive oil soap, re-fashioning, and the development of isolating panels made from textile fibers extracted from recycled clothes. The audio-visual and media production course learners will also create a platform that identifies exterior shooting settings in the Zgharta territory to be used by audio-visual production companies.

In Sousse, Tunisia the city council decided to implement a program to accompany and enhance the craft activity of the Medina neighborhood through training on brand creation, digital marketing, and innovation in a sustainability framework. Up to 22 registrations were collected, of which 16 were women. Trainings began in January and are now being closed. A campaign is being designed to promote artisanal activity. The pilot also encompasses the creation of a consultation space with the handcrafters and merchants of the Medina of Sousse. The 4 forums have now been organized and experts are now collecting the results. Finally, the social mediation process activated to strengthen the council’s dialogue with the street vendors in an unregulated situation is ongoing and led by CAWTAR.

Finally, in Oujda, Morocco the training program on occupational risks and improvement of working conditions, safety, and hygiene for waste collectors have now been finalized with the participation of ‘about 100 informal collectors from the neighborhoods of Ennasr and Adoha-Hay Salam. Two worker cooperatives are being formalized and an awareness campaign is being designed on the topic of good waste management and recycling practices for citizens of the neighborhoods.

What is LASERMed project?

LASERMed (Local action for the socioeconomic recovery in the Mediterranean: the cities respond) is a ‎funded by the Diputació de Barcelona and led by MedCities in association with the municipalities of Zgharta-Ehden (Lebanon), Oujda (Morocco), Sousse (Tunisia) and As Salt (Jordan). The project aims to provide tailored support to municipalities in the identification and implementation of local, tangible and concerted actions to mitigate the effects of the COVID crisis and promote the recovery of strategic sectors with social value and environmental perspective.

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