ICDP started in Lebanon in 2016, in connection with the work of the Jusoor organization.
Jusoor (which means bridges in Arabic) is an NGO representing a community of Syrian expatriates based in Lebanon working together to support the country and people’s continued development despite the current circumstances. It is helping Syrian youth realize their potential through programmes in the fields of education, career development, and global community engagement It is a non-political organization with strictly no ties to any political entity. Jusoor’s programmes do not diﬀerentiate according to political views, ethnicity, religion or gender.
Jusoor runs three schools in Lebanon and in 2016 they hired Michelle Mac Donald who to work as a counsellor for teachers and parents. Her task was to offer emotional support to parents who are struggling in their relationship with their children, as well as to teachers who have issues with their pupils and will also be working directly with children who have behavioural issues in school.
Michelle assumed a role as caregiver to children and as advisor to adults, who are displaced from across the border, from Syria. She introduced ICDP to both teachers and parents in Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon – this work started in September 2016. Michelle was receiving training in ICDP by Nicoletta Armstrong, who provided ongoing support.
Jusoor: “As a community of Syrians living around the world we are working together to launch programmes for the benefit of the Syrian community inside and outside Syria. We are committed to supporting the country’s development and drawing on the vast talents and experience of our global members to overcome the challenges. Jusoor believes that youth in Syria should have access to profoundly better opportunities. In particular, we hope for a nation that embraces democracy, respects human rights and rule of law and encourages free speech and the exchange of ideas. We hope for a country that oﬀers its people high standards of living underpinned by a strong education system. And we hope for a country that promotes opportunity, in which every young woman and man grows up with hope and dreams for the future and ﬁnds opportunities within the country’s borders.”
There are 1,000 Syrians enrolled in Jusoor’s academic programmes, and there are 200 academic scholarships, including a refugee education programme, a scholarship programme and academic mentorships. Jusoor launched a TV campaign along with Memac Oglivy Jeddah, who worked pro-bono to help create the campaign, to raise awareness for the needs of refugee children.