Blood For Peace
Making blood the symbol of unity and solidarity between Syrian Refugees and Lebanese Host Communities by offering a volunteering program for
What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)
Since the start of the Syrian Crisis back in 2011, millions of Syrians fled to the Lebanese territories. According to UNHCR statistics, the Syrian refugees are estimated to be around 1.5 million people (in 2018). Many Lebanese host communities have been deeply affected by the influx of refugees due to security incidents, competition at some levels in the local job market, the fast-spreading epidemics, among other problems. These factors led to an increasingly growing tension between the two major groups. Even before the crisis, the history between Lebanese and Syrians has been a rather gloomy one, with armed conflicts occurring between the two countries especially during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990). There is a common Lebanese saying “there is blood between us” till today, specifically used to describe a torn relationship between both countries that included heavy bloodshed and unresolved matters. Donner Sang Compter (DSC) is a Lebanese nonprofit, non-governmental organization that raises awareness about voluntary non-remunerated blood donation in Lebanon. Its mission is to provide blood for patients in need through a centralized database of potential donors, and through frequent blood donation campaigns conducted in partnership with local blood banks. It operates through the following models: The Call Center & the Mobile Blood Drives. 20,000 registered blood donors provide help through the call center and the Mobile Units conduct blood drives in partnership with 24 hospitals at universities, companies and public locations. DSC aims to redefine the meaning of blood within these two communities by reminding them that blood connects us all and can be a reconciliation tool. The idea is to recruit Syrian refugees in the call center to help any requester from the host community desperately in need of blood in acquiring blood in a life/death situation. This has the potential to change the perception of both on each other resulting in less adversity and tension
Geography of focus (500 characters)
The “Blood for Peace” project will be implemented in Lebanon, a middle-eastern country neighboring Syria. Lebanon has a population of approximately 6M people, including 1.5M Syrian refugees. It will reduce the hatred for Syrian refugees among a large proportion of Lebanese nationals and it will be way for the Syrian refugees to give back to Lebanon after the country provided them a “safe haven” from the Syrian Civil War
Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)
This project would eliminate the hatred between refugees and host communities; help refugees give back to host communities; prepare and train refugees for potential jobs to positively impact the Lebanese economy; change the perception of host communities on refugees (threatened by refugees given the past experience with Palestinian refugees and the armed conflicts that emanated from their presence in Lebanon). All of the above should contribute to more stability between the two groups.
What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)
The idea will increase the level of acceptance and tolerance between Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities. Syrian refugees are already getting the needed support in food, water and shelter through many UN agencies and other International NGOs operating in Lebanon. This project will take things beyond the basic needs to aim for security, acceptance and social integrity. Joy: refugees are currently facing a low level of acceptance and tolerance in Lebanon. By working with DSC, they have the potential to increase and improve this level and feel less in a hostile and foreign environment. Hope: By volunteering with DSC, refugees have the potential to gain field and call center experiences thereby obtaining some new skills that can help them get a better job to enhance their financial stability. Dignity: refugees will able to give back to host communities by volunteering in blood donation campaigns and donating blood to Lebanese nationals when they are in need
What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)
If the problems are converged to the growing tensions and decreased level of toleration between the two communities, then the anticipated results of this intervention would ideally be the mitigation of tension and the increased level of acceptance in inclusion. Both communities will be participating in preparations and implementations of the project across all regions (volunteers), which will increase their sense of belonging. In addition, volunteers from both communities will be subject to training and capacity building activities. The project will be well documented and shared on social media channels and that people’s “perception” will be gauged (positive vs negative). In addition, the number of incidents (e.g. hate crimes) in relation to refugees in will be measured specific areas and compared to the current number to see if there is any decrease. Also, surveys could be conducted for both groups in specific areas to capture their perceptions before, during and after the project
What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)
The idea is important for Syrian refugees because they are currently living in a foreign country which was at war with their country and are facing multiple issues in belonging and fitting in. They also might never come back to their home country which means that Lebanon would be their new home. They should be able to live in dignity without encountering hate crimes or discrimination.
Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)
Lebanese Communities have been hosting around 1.5 Million refugees in Lebanon since 2011 (Lebanon is a Middle-Eastern country neighbored by Syria on its east and north borders, and by Palestine-Israel on its southern borders). The bigger part of Syrian refugees live on Informal Settlements in the Northern and Eastern areas of Lebanon, and those are mostly families getting aid from UN agencies and International NGOs in terms of education, shelter, water and sanitation, health and food security. On the other hand, Lebanese host communities have been showing signs of pressure due to “unequal” treatments given to them whether from local authorities or from aid agencies. In addition, many of the Syrian refugees are “competing” with locals on employment and even on selling services and goods
How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)
Both Lebanese and Syrian communities are well known for their hospitality and kind hearts; it is actually an internationally recognized quality for Middle-Eastern communities. Implementing this project and actually including them in the process of preparations and implementation will give them the chance to work together. Soft skills such as leadership and communications shall be taught and/or acquired during the team-building phases before every event, with professionals delivering the training sessions.
The Lebanese culture is very open to volunteering given that there are a very large number of NGOs compared to the size of the country and the lack of a proper government. DSC already has a large community of volunteers that can be built upon to make this idea successful. We initiated DSC Clubs in 2016 to engage the biggest number of young volunteers within its mission. More than 500 volunteers are currently enrolled in 35 DSC Clubs spread in universities, schools and communities.
What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)
Our major partners in implementing this project will be the local authorities (municipalities), community leaders (Sheikhs, Priests, etc) and local blood banks (governmental hospitals, private hospitals, Lebanese Red Cross, etc).
Local authorities will help us in the organizing and security aspects of the events, while community leaders will help us increase reach to get the best outcomes. The local blood banks will handle the medical role in supervising the blood donation campaigns: medical screening for donors, blood collection and post-donation refreshments.
What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing
Arriving and settling at a destination community
Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing
Platform: Creating a community or market that facilitates interaction between users and resources
Idea Proposal Stage
Early Adoption: We have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have proof of user uptake (i.e. 16% to 49% of the target population or 1,000 to 50,000 users).
Group or Organization Name
Donner Sang Compter
Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)
Donner Sang Compter (DSC) is a Lebanese NGO that has been officially helping people needing blood in Lebanon since 2010. The idea of having such an NGO occurred due to the daily appeals for blood made by patients or their relatives on mainstream media and social media; within the de-centralized blood transfusion system in Lebanon, every patient has to procure his/her own needed blood donors to fulfill the need at hospitals.
DSC was made as a link between patients needing blood and altruists willing to donate; it acts as such on an Emergency basis (in its established Call Center in Beirut), or on a Proactive basis by organizing mobile blood donation campaigns in partnership with local blood banks. To date, more than 40,000 patients have been helped through the Emergency Response Program, and another 34,000 helped through the Proactive Awareness Program (in partnership with 40 blood banks).
Type of submitter
We are a registered Non-Profit Organization
Organization Headquarters: Country
Organization Headquarters: City / State