One can’t stress the importance of community engagement enough. Whether you’re an individual or an institution, you have an obligation towards the enhancement of your community. Realizing this, Lebanon’s American University of Beirut (AUB) established a center for Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS) in 2008. Since then, the center has created a culture of community service and civic leadership within AUB. This year, the achievements of AUB’s center were crowned with MacJannet Prize for global citizenship.
Supporting CCECS, the American University of Beirut went home with the MacJannet granted prize for the first place winner which equals $75,000. The prize comes as a contributing fund to AUB’s exceptional student community engagement initiative. Testing the nominees’ level of commitment for the development of their communities, MacJannet- a non-profit, charitable foundation dedicated to promoting and funding peace and global citizenship- awarded AUB’s CCECS for its wholehearted contributions.
Since its opening, CCECS has focused on four components
“ Outreach and volunteerism, community development projects, service-learning initiatives, and university scholarship programs”
The center was given recognition because it pushes the boundaries of community work and tackles the pressing challenges of the Lebanese community. One of the challenges the center deals with is the Syrian refugees crisis within Lebanon. Working with six refugee schools run by AUB, the center provides psychological treatment to thousands of refugee children. CCECS also supports programs like Syria Relief Project and Ghata: Bringing education to informal tented settlements. Such programs are wholly dedicated to offer better living conditions for the Syrian Refugees within Lebanon.
Such grand contribution by the center granted AUB the first position against 48 nominees sent from 38 member universities across 18 countries. Director of CCECS expresses her hopes saying:
“We hope this recognition will encourage the growing civic engagement efforts by institutionalizing the culture of service-learning in all universities across the MENA region”
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