As part of IREX Europe’s Youth Community Empowerment Program, community mobilization projects are currently being undertaken in Lebanon by local Lebanese civil society organizations. One such organization is Beeatoona, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) formed in 2008. Its primary aim is the promotion of good environmental practices among the Lebanese and Arab communities for sustainable development. With funding from an IREX Europe small grant, Beeatoona has launched "Green Lebanon with Peace," which aims at promoting a non-violent culture through tree planting amongst communities that were affected by the local conflicts of May 7th, 2008. The project will unite the strengths of organizations, projects, people and especially youth in order to make peace a practical reality. The project intends to build bridges between children and youth from different religions and backgrounds.
Beeatoona organized an environmental day where 200 students from different religious backgrounds were brought together with the participation of Miss Lebanon 2008, Miss Rosarita Tawil, to plant 300 Pine trees in Jisr Al Kadi village (Aley region), which has witnessed big forest fires during the last couple of years. Beeatoona also implemented workshops on peace-building and collective work for a better environment. The workshop included sessions on reforestation activity and the importance of group work, conflict resolution, the dangers of fire and prevention, and stewardship.
By targeting pluralistic civil society organisations for conflict mitigation through community mobilisation, IREX Europe expects to strengthen the emerging portions of civil society that seek to promote ethnic and religious tolerance among diverse communities