Outreach & Civic Engagement (OCE) unit at LAU integrates civic engagement with the extra-curricular activities of students on both campuses (Beirut and Byblos), encourages students to broaden their horizons within and outside Lebanon, and provides students with leadership training, skills development and volunteer opportunities.
OCE is dedicated to the advancement of LAU’s commitment to civic engagement, the education of the whole person, and the formation of leaders in a diverse world. It seeks to ensure students’ academic and professional success, to bridge the gap between students and civil society, and to establish networks for international exchange and collaboration.
Since 2010, OCE has offered a plethora of volunteering, enrichment and extra-curricular activities beneficial and relevant to students’ needs. During the period 2010–2020, more than 8,096 LAU students were engaged and more than 40,135 external beneficiaries participated in its volunteering and civic engagement activities, projects and programs.
Among a growing list of activities and services, OCE organizes:
Leadership Programs, Workshops and Outreach Activities
Outreach and Civic Engagement educates students about civic, social and leadership responsibilities and provides LAU’s constituencies from faculty, staff and students with leadership activities, programs, and skills development training.
Outreach and Civic Engagement strengthens students’ cognition of international diplomacy, the inner workings of the UN, as well as procedures, institutions, functions and substantive work in the realm of development, human rights, and inter-cultural dialogue. It does so through various simulation models of international organizations. LAU student leaders are selected, trained, and empowered to train high school and middle school students on issues of public concern.
LAU Model United Nations — a school of leadership “par excellence”
The LAU Model United Nations (LAU MUN) high school program was first launched in 2005– 2006 with 541 students from 76 participating schools. In 2010–2011, LAU MUN inaugurated its Middle School program and has witnessed exponential growth in both the number of students and the number of schools participating in the program. This year, 200 schools and 3,300 students joined the LAU program for middle and high school at LAU Beirut & Byblos. These young students are trained by over 300 LAU students and the final conference will take place in March. The slogan for this year is “Embrace the Sustainable Development Goals”.
The program brings the UN culture of global awareness and the implementation of peaceful means for conflict resolution to Lebanese high schools, middle schools, and the community at large. It consists of training sessions that increase student knowledge of UN procedural rules as well as improve students’ ability to research and write position papers and successfully engage in public speaking and role playing, conflict resolution and negotiations, caucusing and resolution writing, among other skills. By the end of the sessions, students become delegates who take part in UN Committee simulations. The simulations occur over a two-day conference where students play the role of ambassadors in UN Committees and discuss a variety of current topics.
For the past 15 years, more than 2,102,880 hours of teaching peace building and diplomacy were offered by 2,950 LAU student leaders to a total of 39,505 middle school and high school students from around 200 schools.
The Global Classrooms International Program (GCI- New York)
Global Classrooms (GC) Model UN is a flagship program of LAU. GC International was operated by the United Nations Association of the USA for the past 16 years. 2016 ushered in a new era as LAU, a partner of the UNA-USA, operating a model UN program of its own in Lebanon since 2005, took over the management of the GCI conferences in New York. Two international conferences, one for middle school students and another for high school students, were held this spring in NY city.
This year’s 2020 Global Classrooms International Middle School Conference will take place from March 26-30. The 2020 Global Classrooms International High School Conference will take place from May 7-9.
Over the past 20 years, theses conferences have engaged more than 60,000 high school and middle school students coming from 250 schools in 20 countries.
For more information, visit the LAU Model United Nations website.
LAU Model Arab League Program
In 2011, LAU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Council on US-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) and now has exclusive rights to use the title of “Model Arab League” (MAL) in its simulations in Lebanon. Under the slogan “Developing Arab Resources”, the program included 112 schools and 1,300 students with a final conference in February. The training sessions will take place at LAU Beirut and OLA Saida/Khan El Ifranj with over 120 LAU students leading the program.
The LAU-MAL program helps engage students from various religious and political backgrounds in Lebanon to discuss social, political, and economic subjects that affect and shape the Arab World. Representing one of the Arab League’s 22 member states, student delegates work to achieve consensus on questions that diplomats face every day. Student leaders debate and form coalitions to draft and pass resolutions that seek to resolve some of the Arab countries’ most difficult challenges. Skills are honed through seven training sessions that prepare students for a two-day conference simulating the various sessions and committees of the Arab league.
For the past nine years, more than 5,400 High school students from 112 schools have participated in the training sessions and the conference of the LAU MAL program.
LAU Model European Union
The Outreach and Civic Engagement department at LAU launched the fourth annual LAU Model European Union program in partnership with the Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development and in cooperation with the Bringing Europeans Together Association (BETA Europe). Under the slogan “Moderation and Modernization”, the program included 500 delegates from 60 schools received the training in English or French in both LAU Byblos & Beirut including OLA Solidere with an LAU secretariat of 60 students. The final conference will take place in February.
The program is composed of five training sessions and final conference whereby high school students will be simulating member of parliaments in the European Parliament and Ministers in the Council of the European Union.
460 delegates from 60 schools are receiving the training in English and French in both LAU Beirut and Byblos Campus.
LAU Model African Union
The Outreach and Civic Engagement department at LAU launched the first annual LAU Model African Union. Under the slogan “Agenda 2063-The Africa We Want”, the program included 300 delegates from 40 schools received the training in English in both LAU Byblos & Beirut including OLA Solidere with an LAU secretariat of 60 students. The final conference took place in February.
Global Outreach & Leadership Development (G.O.L.D)
The Outreach & Civic Engagement Department is organizing the Annual Global Outreach & Leadership Development (GOLD 2020) Conference which will take place at LAU New York August 3-7, 2020 under the theme of “GIVE”: Global Initiative for Volunteering & Engaging in support of SDGs”.
“GIVE”: Global Initiative for Volunteering & Engaging in support of SDGs”
The Sustainable Development Goals’ Agenda for 2030 is adopted by all UN member states to provide a shared framework for peace and prosperity. The 17 SDG goals contain 169 targets covering a broad spectrum of sustainable development issues. These universal goals, known as Global Goals, are a call for action to end poverty, ensure prosperity, protect the planet and instill peace. The 2020 GOLD conference will provide tools for its participants to increase their cognition of the Sustainable Development Goals and to engage in support of these global goals. Through the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology | Analytics, Partnerships & Innovation Section, OCE will channel the ideas and initiatives of its participants to the United Nations and connect the youth through its digital platform. GIVE will allow the youth to have their voices heard. Engaging and supporting the SDGs cannot be done without demystifying the United Nations’ system, structure and strategy. All of this will be provided to GOLD’s 2020 participants for through a clear-cut methodology of training.
- Understanding what the SDGs are and why they are important and how to achieve them.
- Grasping the key concepts of SDGs and practices of sustainability.
- Receive an in-depth overview of the 2030 agenda, framework, and implementation with clear and congruent key performance indicators.
- Learn how to become a force of change in contributing to the SDGs.
- Take part of the network of Youth from all around the world and connect on discussing global topics.
- Helping policy makers and sustainable development practitioners looking for a concise overview of the goals and their targets.
- Creating a road map for private sector actors who work in corporate sustainability and responsibility making their work more sustainable and aligned with global progress.
We are expecting various United Nations Specialized agencies such as United Nations Volunteers, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, FAO, and other prominent organizations to enrich discussions through both interactive workshops and hands on experience such as Director of Public Information at the IAEA, Project Management Officer from UN Habitat, Director of United Nations Association of National Capital Area, United Nations Global Communication Office, United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology | Analytics, Partnerships & Innovation Section, and many others.
Outreach and Corporate Visits/Projects
In addition to the above, OCE strives to provide outreach opportunities for LAU students in diverse areas, including:
- Projects with UN agencies such as UNICEF, UNIFIL, UNIC, and a “UN Aware” Certification program,
- Global Design for UNICEF Challenge,
- Residential training camps, reforestation campaigns, and beach cleaning campaigns,
- Student participation in international leadership and civic engagement conferences, and
- Training workshops on leadership skills, communication skills, conflict resolution, team building, and emotional intelligence
- The Outreach and Civic Engagement Unit at LAU is cooperating with NGO MMKN, under the Volunteer Teacher Program, for the 8th year in the realm of recruiting and training LAU students to teach reinforcement sessions in public schools for Grades 8 & 9 in Beirut and Byblos. LAU Students contributing in this project gives public school students the assistance they need to pass their classes
- The Outreach and Corporate Visits are field trips organized by the Outreach and Civic Engagement unit at LAU to give the chance to LAU students to explore various institutions in terms of work environment and civic engagement. Since 2016, 77 OCVs took place and more than 900 students participated.
Soft Skills Series (SSS)
The Outreach & Civic Engagement unit recently launched the Soft Skill Series program which consist of a list of workshops targeting LAU students. The Workshops are given in Beirut and Byblos campus by Professional trainers and entrepreneurs.
To date 31 workshops took place and more than 1100 students attended from both campuses.
Soft Skills Series Implemented:
- Alternative Communication Skills workshop
- Stress Management
- Strategic Planning
- Interviewing Skills and Debate
- Customer Service
- Emotional Intelligence
- Time Management workshop
- Business Ethics in Media
- Tolerance and Diversity Workshop
- Communication Skills and Public Speaking
- A step by Step Guide to Entrepreneurship
- Stress: A Positive Force?
- Emotionally Intelligent Leaders of tomorrow
- Role of Media in Defense of Public and Private Liberties
- Unleash your thinking power
- Communication Skills: Speak so that they listen
- Leading with Emotional Intelligence
- Stop Killing time
- The 7 Habits of highly effective people
- Mental Candy
- Mastering Self-Regulation
- How to maximize time and minimize stress
- Unleash your self-Confidence
- Moubdeh Men biladi-Anghami
- How to maximize time and minimize stress
- Unleash your confidence
- From goal setting to goal getting
- Moundeh Men Biladi-Mr. Ousama Rahbani
- Intro to Artificial Intelligence and its impact on sustainable Development
- Digital Addiction disorder
School of Pharmacy Training
Since 2017, LAU’s School of Pharmacy collaborates with the Outreach and Civic Engagement (OCE) department, to train its graduate students in emotional intelligence and conflict resolution. The initiative came ahead of the four-month required Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) in the United States, where the budding pharmacists will boost their academic learning in various patient care settings and medical sub-specialty environments.
During Spring 2020, the Outreach & Civic Engagement in collaboration with the School of Pharmacy, organized the below workshops for P1 and P2 students:
- Know Thyself Part 1 workshop by Prof. Elie Samia and below the learning objectives:
- Complete the Harvard Temperament sorter
- Know their personality type
- Know the strengths and weaknesses of their personality type
- Know how their personality can work positively with other types
- Leading with Awareness Workshop and below the learning objectives:
- Know how to increase my influence in every situation (Self- Awareness)
- Learn how to communicate better as a leader with others (Awareness of others)
- Learn the importance of win-win situations
Department of Nutrition
During Fall 2019, the Outreach & Civic Engagement in collaboration with the Department of Nutrition, organized the Power of Passion workshop for 65 Nutrition students. In addition, OCE allocated LAU volunteers majoring in Nutrition to work for 12 hours during the semester with an NGO.
During Spring 2020, the Outreach & Civic Engagement in collaboration with the Department of Nutrition, organized the below workshops for 8 CP students:
- Power of Learning
- Power of Innovation
The NGO Annual Fair is held by LAU to encourage students to volunteer for community service. The annual event aims to bridge the gap between students and civil society, giving students the unique opportunity to channel their creative potential, energy, and passion into the important networks of constructive and positive social work. The upcoming USP Community Service Projects and Success Stories Symposium will take place on April 22, 2020.
LAU-NGO Mobile Application
In spring 2014, OCE launched a mobile application, “LAU-NGO network.” This innovative application gives the LAU community the opportunity to directly link itself with NGOs and the broader civil society. It provides a listing of youth-related NGO networks in Lebanon in addition to some prominent international NGOs. The application also posts internship and volunteer opportunities offered by the listed NGOs, as well as to an LAU-NGO map that will eventually cover the MENA region, Europe and the U.S.A.
The USAID University Scholarship Program
OCE manages LAU’s USAID University Scholarship Program (USP), which allows academically qualified but financially underprivileged Lebanese students from public high schools to attend the university. The program aims to provide quality education in various majors and develop the leadership potential of the students, providing them with the skills necessary to build their communities.
For more information, visit the USP webpage.
Community Service Projects (CSP)
Under the leadership component of USP, every student is required to implement a community service project (CSP).
The CSP aims towards:
1.Developing and testing the leadership skills gained through training in the field;
2.Personal development of scholars
CSPs help students gain:
- Team-building skills;
- Networking and communication skills;
- Project conceptualization and budgeting skills;
- Self-confidence and leadership skills;
- Better appreciation of diversity.
- Moreover, CSPs give students the opportunity to give back to their communities.
CSPs must be implemented during the student’s second year at the university with a minimum of 3 days of implementation.
Students must engage thoroughly in their CSPs. Presentations and lectures given by students are mandatory. The NGOs only play a role of supervision and/or assistance when needed during a workshop or lecture.
By the end of Spring 2019, 382 USP scholars will have completed their CSPs. CSPs are implemented either individually or in groups.
Below are samples of implemented CSPs:
- “Roads for a Better Community” under the theme of road safety
- “Hygiene” to raise awareness on the importance of hygiene and provide students with tips and skills to maintain good personal hygiene
- “Finding a Fit You” to raise awareness and shed light on the importance of food choices and physical exercise in maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle
- “Music Awakening” to raise awareness on the importance of music and to introduce the youth to the several music theories and instruments
- “Together for a Better Home” to raise the needed awareness about the increasing plastic waste problem and how it can be resolved through sorting and recycling
- “Lebanese Colors” under the theme of civic mindedness and tolerance to change and diversity into the minds of young adolescents
- “S.O.S Against Bullying” aims to create awareness about acceptance, bullying, discrimination and our roles as effective citizens in our communities
- “Soap Making” aims to teach orphans and children with special needs the art of handmade soap making
- “She Equals He” aims to is to provide the target audience with the proper knowledge concerning how to react in case of sexual harassment
- “Empowering to be the Change” aims to empower and create the right mindset for the youth to come up and implement sustainable ideas within their communities
Outreach & Leadership Academy (OLA)
In operation since 2014, the Outreach & Leadership Academy (OLA) in Sidon is run by OCE in partnership with the Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development (HFSHD). Housed in newly restored eighteenth-century premises, OLA is located in Old Downtown Sidon and is the South of Lebanon headquarters for LAU and HFSHD. It acts as a beacon for civic engagement and an open space for all parents, students, teachers and practitioners to learn more about LAU and to engage in all its leadership and civic engagement initiatives.
With its motto “Educate, Empower, Engage,” OLA aims at establishing a culture of civic engagement, social awareness, leadership formation and citizenship reinforcement with the ultimate objective of strengthening human development through enhancing social peace, building human capacity and promoting economic opportunities.
In 2016, OCE launched OLA Solidere and devised an action plan based on the bellow 8 pillars:
- Simulation Models;
- Entrepreneurship programs and activities;
- Internship opportunities and workshops;
- Leadership Certification for public employees, NGOs, educational sector and young professionals;
- Professional Development for Rafic Hariri High School (Board of Advisors);
- International Programs & Business Development;
- “Our Constitution” (Dostourona): a program aimed at enlightening students about the constitution & the Taef Accord; and
- NGO program for sustainable development.
Reach Out and Dazzle (ROAD) program
ROAD is a literacy volunteer program by LAU students for underprivileged children at the OLA Sidon facility. Over 130 reading sessions and educational activities with children have taken place. More than 90 children benefit from the sessions with around 40 LAU students volunteering in the activities.
Business 299: Civic Engagement Course
The Adnan Kassar School of Business in collaboration with the Outreach and Civic Engagement Unit, introduced in Fall 2013 Business 299 – Civic Engagement course. It is a mandatory zero credit civic core requirements of the BS Business Studies program.
The course has two components:
- A two-day workshop on “Civic Engagement skill building and need assessment”
- A minimum of 12 hours of documented community service experience
Students may enroll in the course in any given semester provided they are in good academic standing. The Outreach and Civic Engagement is responsible for the assignment of the students in vetted NGOs in order for them to fulfil the 12 hours volunteer work required for the course. Once the students complete their 12 hours volunteer work, their supervisors complete an online evaluation form, allowing the school of Business to post their grades.
Since Summer I 2013, 3,362 LAU students, from both campuses, took part of the Civic Engagement course.