Ideas / World Humanitarian Day

How One Young Lebanese Humanitarian is Inspiring Future Generations

Wafaa Obeid’s work with at-risk girls helps set them up for bright futures

For #WorldHumanitarianDay, we’re sharing perspectives from CARE’s humanitarian workers around the world. More than 95% of CARE’s staff is from the countries where we work, and for many of them, humanitarian work hits close to home. Wafaa Obeid, 26, is a Project Officer at CARE’s Positive Pathways to Education project in Lebanon, where she works with at-risk girls and adolescents.

I started working with young women and girls through a CARE pilot education project targeting six vulnerable neighborhoods in Tripoli, Lebanon. They come and tell me their personal stories, and we work together on overcoming obstacles at school or at home. They give me their trust, and I am on a mission to support them. If I can influence the behavior of one single youth, then I have accomplished my mission.

When I was in secondary school, growing up in North Lebanon, a social worker named Lamaa regularly visited our class. I always enjoyed and looked forward to her sessions. She was a great source of inspiration. At the time, the Syrian crisis had created a huge influx of refugees to Lebanon and there was a huge need for this kind of specialization. I decided to study health and social counseling to become a social worker.

If I can influence the behavior of one single youth, then I have accomplished my mission.

One of my proudest moments was when I saw 70 of those young ladies graduate from school a few weeks ago. It was as if a part of me graduated with them.

I used to feel tired at work, but now these girls have become a part of me. I come to work because of them, and they wait for me every day. Sometimes, they ask me about my job as a social worker and how to become one. I tell them that they are the ones that had the will to change and I only showed them the choices they have. Nothing could be more rewarding.

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