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Tishreen Community Center in Aleppo to Offer over 25, 000 Services This Year

(ST) -Tishreen Community Center [Manara], which was established by the end of April 2018 in Aleppo after the center’s staff had worked in the field for more than 4 months to acquaint the needs of the community, plans to offer over 25000 services this year to the areas which are reachable by the center, according to Mr. Jean Mghamez, the Director of Aleppo Governorate’s Operations in Syria “Trust for Development”.

Mr. Mghamez made it clear that the main goal of the center- officially opened on March, 13, 2019-is to partner with people who want to build-up and bring positive change to their communities.

“It targets people of all ages and offers consultations that meet needs of the most needy groups [women and men],” he asserted, indicating that Manarat is community centers where are Syria Trust for Development’s activities intersect for the benefit of the communities it serves.

In practice, no two centers are exactly the same: the specific local needs and circumstances determine exactly what services and activities each offers. Beneficiaries bring commitment, enthusiasm and belief in their potential; the community centers provide training resources, professional advice, expert knowledge and support. Together, they build new skills, brighter prospects, stronger communities and a better future.

Mr. Mghamez went on to say: “We encourage every community to take active “ownership” of its Centre and the development process that it is creating for itself. Activities range from vocational training programs, remedial after school classes and homework cafes to counsellingadvisory walk-in clinics and microcredit workshops.”

The centers’ program supported 331.000 beneficiaries across 15 centers in 6 provinces in 2016.

As for the other services being offered by the Trust in Aleppo city under the current circumstances there, Mr. Mghamez numbered several services. Among them are:

Legal First Responders

Born out of the crisis, the Trust’s legal initiative assists displaced people with cost free legal aid as a means of helping them piece their lives back together. Lawyers work directly out of areas where displaced families are concentrated or from within the Trust’s community centers. Internally displaced people are afforded assistance with the reissuance of various civil documents and when applying for documentation for the very first time.

Last year, an emergency response was carried out for the citizens of Afrin, Fafin Camp and Tal Ref’at area who were displaced as a result of Turkish aggression.

Mashrouie (My Project):

Mashrouie runs innovative microcredit programs that encourage economic growth in disadvantaged areas. It manages a microcredit portfolio to the value of 2 billion Syrian pounds, which is apportioned into 700 funds. Funds issue loans of between 50,000 to 200,000 Syrian pounds to disadvantaged farmers and small business owners who lack the collateral required by conventional banks. Each fund is administered by a village committee, whose members are elected based on their insight into the needs and economic realities of their communities. Empowering villagers with this responsibility has immeasurably boosted the spirit and solidarity of these communities.

This service was launched in 2017, and there are 12 funds in Aleppo countryside.

Shabab (Young):

Shabab provides university students with practical training and advice to improve their employment prospects. Courses range from those offering interviewing and CV writing classes to ones that focus on increasing business knowledge and developing vocational skills. Certified trainers and career advisors train students in the process of applying for jobs or weighing up their career prospects.

Living Heritage

Living Heritage was conceived as a means of safeguarding Syria’s cultural heritage by making it an active feature of community development. The program oversees the restoration of historical national landmarks, archaeological monuments and heritage sites. At the community level, its projects enhance surrounding localities by supporting creative industries, and reviving local knowledge, traditions, and craftsmanship.

The Trust’ vision is ‘a nation defined by the positive energy of its people’, while its values are the foundation to how it behaves in its daily work. 

The Trust seeks now more than ever to partner with people

“In 2018, the Trust’s branch in Aleppo offered 468.532 opportunities. We considers beneficiaries as opportunities for communication and getting benefit from experiences as well as getting acquainted and building a bridge of trust with beneficiaries,” Mr. Mghamez said.

He affirmed that the Trust, which is part of the Syrian community, faces many challenges in its daily work and it seeks now more than ever to partner with people to play a key role in development process.

“During the foreign-backed terrorist groups’ occupation of Aleppo and as a result of the displacement of huge number of families towards government-held areas for security, the trust had been working to ensure the basic needs and shelters for these families and it had not stopped its activities and programs that target local communities,” Mr. Mghamez concluded.

The partners of the Trust in this center are Aleppo Governorate and the (SOS Chrétien d’orient).

As for the contribution of the SOS Chrétiend’orient to the center, the Head of the organization in Syria and responsible for the development (Armenia, Ethiopia, Jordan, and Pakistan) Mr. Alexandre Goodarzy said: “We paid more than 300.000 Euro to build the center and we hold free French lessons twice a week inside the center.”

“We would like to make more but they are still under study.” He added.


Interviewed by: BasmaQaddour