Zero Project 2018/19
Empowerment Through Integration (ETI) is an NGO working with young people with disabilities and their families across Lebanon. Founded in 2011, ETI primarily focuses on young people with visual impairments, offering life-skills training in group and one-to-one settings, parent workshops, and other community activities to promote social inclusion. ETI also works with relief agencies to ensure that young refugees with disabilities can also access its programmes. The number of participants in its activities has increased ten-fold from 39 in 2011 to 381 in 2018, and ETI has also been piloted in Nicaragua.
“ETI’s Empowerment Programs promote authentic inclusion one child, family and community at a time. We hope to change the narrative around disability and for individuals to feel valued and empowered.”
Young people with disabilities in Lebanon experience social and academic exclusion, and this is intensified by geographic isolation and poverty.
ETI runs five programmes across Lebanon, the primary one being the Life Skills Intensive Programme – a two-week training on orientation, mobility, and independent living for young people who are blind or are otherwise visually impaired. A follow-up Life Skills Extension Programme offers one-to-one training in the young person’s home and community for up to ten months. Parent workshops ensure that the skills acquired in the trainings are maintained within family and community settings. ETI also runs a volunteer training programme and a community service project for people with and without disabilities.
ETI is the only organization in Lebanon offering this kind of life-skills training to young people who are blind and visually impaired. Between 2016 and 2018 it has supported over 1,000 young people and trained over 300 volunteers. ETI recruits Lebanese participants through its partnership with local schools and the Ministry of Social Affairs,, and Syrian and Palestinian refugees with the assistance of international bodies, such as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The organization is also working with the Ministry of Education to incorporate its approach into the mainstream school system.
ETI supported 1000+ youth with disabilities and their families through year-long programs.
ETI also empowered 5,000+ individuals through intensive workshops
ETI’s programs all operate on the principle of human-centered design. If our goal is to empower people to realize bias—and to recognize how it imposes limitations on everyone—we have to put the beneficiary at the center of our work. We’re creating our programs based on perspectives and lived experiences across every sector in order to make the biggest collective impact. We’re targeting youth, families & communities, organizational culture, and society as a whole. Our programs are tailored to each sector to teach inclusion to participants—and show them how to advance this perspective in their own lives and work.
We work with children to teach them empowering life skills and interact with peers of all abilities. We work with their families and communities to reinforce those lessons and encourage them to build a supportive environment for all. And we partner with businesses, universities, and government agencies to give organizations the tools they need to create inclusive space for their teams—and change the societal narrative more broadly.
- We need sponsors to build our curricula—and co-brand them with us, too.
- We’re seeking university partners to host our Executive Education course.
- We need clients and participants to continue to advance inclusion on every front, all over the world.
Our next steps are to grow our inclusion training programs to expand our impact to new sectors and geographies with every client as we promote inclusion within organizational culture. In these programs, participants learn how to leverage the principles of human-centric design across their teams. We’ll empower leaders and team members alike to recognize bias and exclusion gaps in their policies and procedures, as well as physical accessibility. Finally, we’ll shift perspectives so participants can think creatively about solutions and construct inclusive spaces.
ETI’s Inclusion Training programs come in two types. The first is the Executive Education course, which scales our impact through leaders across every sector. Through this program, we’ll work to shift individual perspectives, recognize systemic bias, and create inclusive organizational spaces. Participants will leave with an understanding of how inclusion of people with disabilities and other marginalized identities empowers everyone—and they’ll be ready to spark change in their own professional lives.
Second, our customized in-house modules put that education directly into companies, agencies, and institutions. Working with staff, we’ll tailor our programming and recommendations to specific organizational needs when it comes to accessibility, inclusion, and equality.
ETI’s replication goal is to put our training packages into the field and make them better.
Contact person: Sara Minkara email@example.com