The project consists of launching an educational and social farm that carries out agriculture and agri-tourism activities, including an educational kitchen, a hen house, and will comprise the production of local products.
The project will engage impoverished families in the learning process of farming and cooking, while offering them the opportunity to work in the farm or find other jobs opportunities for them elsewhere, after their training. Thousands of Lebanese families live in poverty and have difficulty obtaining food and this will provide them have the possibility of having access to basic stuff such as vegetables, eggs and quality products free of charge.
Therefore, the main focus of the project is economic development as it will serve to create jobs especially for young people and women in all areas: breeding and agriculture, gardening, cooking, catering, finance and accounting, drivers, laboratory, factory, cleaning, cashier, etc.
Young people and women will be involved in this value chain, and will be able to support their families with a secure and year-round source of income. This project will help solve unemployment-related problems and will provide know-how and trade to hundreds of men, women and youths who lost their jobs in the first place. It will be the source of direct income for them and will help empower them, by training them, creating and securing jobs for them, thus reintegrating them in the society, and allowing them to help their families.
Finally, the educational and tourist services annexed to the project will contribute to the revitalization of the local economy, as it will be an indirect income for small businesses providing services to the farm. The project will also help in the development of domestic and rural tourism, thus participating to improve the economic health of Lebanon.
This project will be done in partnership with a local NGO called Bassma, a Lebanese non-profit association for social development, founded in 2002 (178A/D), which aims to empower the most destitute families and help them become self-sufficient. Out of the total project budget of $420,000, Rotary Club Beirut Cedars is participating at a rate of $75,210 for the cost of the kitchen and its associated expenses.
The agri-tourism and educational services, as well as a table d’hôte, will ensure the viability of the project in the long run, to offset future costs of teaching and educating about farming and cooking, while revitalizing the local economy. These services will attract families and groups of tourists, and will include:
– Personalized workshops for families, school pupils, and teenagers
– An onsite restaurant with a kids’ playground area
– A boutique to sell jars of jams and other seasonal products
Students from Saint-Joseph University who is a silent partner in this project (i.e. donated the land for a period of 8 years) will insure rotation in the farming services, workshops, restaurants, as well as in the hospitality services.