Fatima’s Journey from Volunteerism to Collective Empowerment

April 24, 2024
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Fatima Al-Ghamrawi is a young woman from Tripoli, Lebanon, with an inspiring commitment to the community. Fatima joined the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Utopia and later the “Youth RESOLVE” project,  supported by the European Union to tackle water scarcity through innovative solutions. Her vision goes beyond personal success and aims to collectively empower youth to create positive nationwide change. Fatima’s story is a testament to the lasting impact of youth, community resilience and the limitless potential of compassion for a better future.

Seeds of Compassion

At the age of 23, Fatima Al-Ghamrawi had already become a beacon of hope in her community. Growing up in Tripoli, Lebanon, her journey into the world of volunteering began at the tender age of six. School holidays were not just a break for her, but also an opportunity to support charities with her family. These early experiences planted the seeds of compassion in Fatima’s heart.

“Even as a child, I noticed the differences in the lives of the other children. Why did some of them wear worn-out clothes and why couldn’t they all go to school like me?”, Fatima remembers. These questions aroused her curiosity and led to conversations with her mother, who taught her how important it is to help those in need and to promote the community in order to improve the quality of life for everyone.

A Journey of Empowerment

As Fatima grew older, her awareness of social inequalities deepened, awakening in her a desire to positively impact her community. This passion drove her to join Utopia, an NGO she has long admired. In 2019, she took her commitment one step further and became part of “Youth RESOLVE,” a project that focuses on youth empowerment and advocacy for social stability in Lebanon.

Youth RESOLVE is the ongoing commitment of a consortium of World Vision, UTOPIA, DPNA and GAME, funded by the European Union through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (EUTF Syria) – Madad Fund. This initiative aims to equip young people with the tools they need to become influential figures in their communities. The project focuses primarily on strengthening youth resilience and promoting social cohesion in post-conflict scenarios and envisages the active participation of Lebanese and Syrian refugee youth in local decision-making processes. Its multifaceted approach also includes peace-building activities that use sport as a central theme to promote social stability, foster local development and instill a sense of active citizenship among Lebanon’s youth. The project offers Fatima and many other young people the opportunity to boost their commitment to social change.

“The message I want to convey to young people is this: Pursue your passions, follow your dreams and don’t think you can’t achieve them. On the contrary, we have the ability to achieve anything we set our minds to,” says Fatima, epitomising the determination that has driven her along the way.

The project’s initiatives, including a needs assessment in Bab Al Tabbaneh, brought to light urgent problems such as water scarcity due to lack of electricity. Undeterred, Fatima and her team worked with the communities to find a solution: installing solar energy systems to power water pumps. “The project had an immediate impact and was of great benefit to these communities,” Fatima says proudly, thinking of the families her efforts have helped.

Unity in Adversity

The Youth RESOLVE project became a platform for individual growth and a testament to the resilience of Lebanon’s youth. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis, young people from different regions joined forces and discovered the power of solidarity.

Looking to the future, Fatima envisions a Lebanon in which young people are active decision-makers and drive positive change. Her dream goes beyond personal success and aims for collective empowerment, where young people have the skills, opportunities and platforms to express their ideas. “I hope that young people who are active at a local level today will be able to make a difference nationwide in ten years’ time, or even sooner,” she says optimistically.

Fatima encourages her peers to pursue their passions and paints a vision of a better future where determination, innovation and solidarity light the way to a better Lebanon. Fatima’s story is not only a personal triumph, but also a testament to the lasting impact of youth and the limitless potential of compassion.