Libyan CSOs respond to COVID challenges ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
 
April 2021
 
 

Rapid assessment initiatives

  Learning new skills in Benghazi

In our last newsletter, we provided a link to recent research conducted in Libya related to COVID-19.  Together with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), BCI worked with 11 Libyan civil society organisations to conduct rapid assessment research on the pandemic’s impact on women and girls.   

The assessments revealed that COVID-19 has exacerbated a dire economic situation, which remains the most urgent crisis for most Libyans.  Women are particularly vulnerable to the deteriorating economy as they face increased limitations on their mobility and have lost work and education opportunities.  In particular, pandemic-related lockdowns and business closures have placed burdens on entrepreneurial women who have had to abandon small enterprises or rely on income from the informal sector. 

The 11 CSOs used the research results to design and implement immediate interventions to address some of the challenges for the most vulnerable women and girls in their communities.  With small grants from the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), most projects are designed to help women deal with the shock of lost income and isolation related to the pandemic. 

We wanted to highlight a few of these initiatives as we continue to be in awe of the commitment and work of civil society organisations operating in one of the most challenging environments in the world.  To learn more about each CSO, click on the name in each headline to see their Facebook page.

 
 

For You Libya Group (FYL)

FYL TTL Project 

The Tripoli-based For You Libya Group (FYL) has launched its Digiwomen project to provide young women with training and practical guidance on designing and developing mobile applications.  Apps will focus on three possible themes: children’s education, combating gender-based violence, and support for small business owners.   In addition to app development, FYL will provide guidance and mentoring on entrepreneurship, freelance businesses and e-marketing.  FYL has reached out to a Libyan business incubator and attended a “hackathon” to develop solutions and support for young women further.

 
 

Women’s Union of the South (WUS)

  WUS TTL Project

In the south — a region particularly hard-hit by the impact of COVID-19 — the Women’s Union of the South (WUS) has reached out to women in Murzuq and Sabha, many of whom are displaced and living in the Ansam Al-Hurriya camp.  WUS is providing approximately 20 women with legal and psychological support to help them cope with the pandemic’s repercussions, particularly those related to mental health and gender-based and domestic violence.  WUS has engaged a local radio station and community-based doctors to work with the CSO on public discussions of the pandemic’s impact on women’s mental and physical health.

 
 

Nataj Organisation

WhatsApp Image 2021-04-07 at 1.59.29 PM 

In Benghazi, the Nataj Organisation is providing a mix of skills training and psychological support to widows and women who are divorced or displaced.  Women who participate in baking and confectionery classes are starting to sell their sweet treats in their communities.  The impact of Nataj’s intervention goes beyond cake decorating.  In addition to the programme participants’ economic empowerment, women who attend the trainings also have access to an onsite psychologist who provides support to the women during individual counselling sessions.   

 
 

Women’s Forum for Development (WFD)

  WFD TTL Project

In Zawiya, the Women’s Forum for Development (WFD) is training 40 young women under 40 years old to develop skills in graphic design, digital marketing, financial feasibility studies and marketing strategies.  WFD will also support the project’s participants with skills training on various practical crafts to promote and market their work in the community. With support from the municipality and the local COVID-19 response committee, WFD plans to organise a three-day marketplace in Zawiya as a starting point for the promotion.

 
 

Women’s and Youth Empowerment Forum (WYEF)

WYEF TTL Project 

In Tripoli, the Women’s and Youth Empowerment Forum (WYEF) is supporting 20 women who are displaced, widowed or divorced to support their families with new craft skills and marketing strategies to promote their products.  WYEF has also engaged local politicians to support their efforts and plans to facilitate a community bazaar to give the project’s participants practical experience in marketing products. 

 
 

Libyan Organisation for Development (LOD)

  LOD TTL Project

In Benghazi, Derna and Tobruk, the Libyan Organisation for Development (LOD) is providing training to community-based social workers on psychosocial support to women to help them cope with COVID-related mental health stress.  The social workers receive specialised training on the trauma caused by gender-based violence, case management for survivors and the provision of services for victims of violence.  LOD’s workshops also include components on women’s legal rights and the relationship between the rule of law and human rights. 

 
 
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