Empowering women in Lebanon – by mastering the installation and operation of solar PV panels

Along with SEFY Lebanon, WLC Lebanon, GIZ Contra, OTB Consult we launched the “ YouRise” Project last year, to empower underprivileged women and youth in deprived areas of Lebanon, while at the same time contributing to Lebanon’s energy transition by providing sustainable education on renewable energy and employment.

The project and trainings resulted in the installation of an on-grid PV system for the solid waste sorting facility of the Qaraoun municipality and business skills training and support for 7 women led rural cooperatives that had 19 women employed. As a result, the trained beneficiairies now master and understand the installation and operation of solar PV panels connected to the grid

YouRise aims to contribute to a significant increase in decentralized renewable energy generation in Lebanon, exchanging municipal experience on practical know-how, technology transfer and qualification concepts on solar energy across national borders. The project focuses on improving prospects for underprivileged youth, refugees and vulnerable host communities in Lebanon through education and integrated provision of services to provide employment opportunities and improve the basic infrastructure of local communities in the solar energy sector.

Lebanon pledged to improve and diversify its energy sources by covering 12% of the electricity consumption with renewable energy sources by 2020. In a meeting with the World Energy Council, Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri announced a new 30% renewable energy target for 2030, more than doubling the target of 2020. This will require major investments, as in 2016 the majority of the power production came from imported heavy oil fuels, only 3% of the total power production came from renewable energy sources.

YouRise focuses on women and youth empowerment, aiming at building capacity and improving living conditions of those living in deprived areas. The project in its first phase involved 13 female trainees, who demonstrated strong technical skills and capabilities, being able to lead installations of different solar PV systems and applications, in a sector where female involvement on average does not exceed 2% of the general workforce. Additionally, the first phase of the project supported 7 female-led enterprises, involving more than 19 women living in rural areas. This initiative supported females in growing a their business and empowered them through revenue generation and product exposure.

In Lebanon, we contributed in 2019 to the launch of a mobile solar academy, called YouRise.
We provided accessible technical skills on solar technologies and entrpreneuship skills for unemployed youth (minimum 50% women and 40% refugees), to contribute to the Lebanese energy transition and climate policy.

Next steps: develop regular training sessions for more beneficiaries

The impact of YouRise is expanded and maximized through reaching out to local female entrepreneurs and supporting them in improving their business and creating opportunities for more than 19 women.
YouRise now also helps female-led small businesses and women in the cooperatives prepare and sell their rural processed food through the women’s association of the town (WASD). The project supports the organization and its mission in promoting rural development and empowering local female business and individuals, by means of generating diversified income and employment opportunities. When successful, processing at village level can create an enhanced quality of life for villagers because of greater prosperity and improved health and nutrition. The initiative thus also supports local farmers and creates sustainable job opportunities.

The report on the YouRise Project is available for download here