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Under the High patronage of the Lebanese Ministry of Environment, and thanks to a generous contribution from Microsoft, Beeatoona organized a NGO connection day/Workshop, on Tuesday, 29 March, 2011, at the Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel- Ain Al Mreisse.

The workshop was launched in an official ceremony at 11 am, with the presence of Eng Sanaa Sairawan, representing the MoE, Captain Nader Abdallah, representing the Lebanese Internal Security Forces, a representative of the Australian Embassy and representatives of Tyre Municipalities Union.

First, Mr Maroun Charabati, President of Beeatoona Organization greeted the attendees, speaking of the organization’s journey towards a the best management of E-waste in Lebanon and the region, and praising Microsoft’s efforts and collaborations with the civil society for a better environment.

On the second hand, Ms Leila Serhan Salem, Lebanon Country Manager in Microsoft, spoke of the corporation’s green initiative and the support it provides to the civil society through technology. Also, she portrayed the environmental policies applied at Microsoft’s buildings worldwide.

As for Eng Sayrawan, she praised the joint efforts of the workshop organizers and declared the importance of taking things in hand when it comes to the environmental issues that we face today, instead of waiting for the solutions to be provided to us from the government.

After two presentations respectively moderated by Mr Ghassan Chahine, DPE Lead in Microsoft and Ms Patricia Khoury, Director of Beeatoona, the workshop began.

The diversity of the participants endorsed the efficiency of the workshop:
  • Eng Sanaa Sairawan, representing the MoE
  • Representatives of Tyre Municipalities Union
  • Representatives of civil society organizations, such as: Makhzoumi Foundation, Fondation Saradar, DPNA, Terre Liban, IOCC, the Lebanese Scout Association, and many others…
  • Representatives of AUB.

  • As the sessions began, each participant was asked to describe the scope of work of her/his institution. This helped the group define what was there in common: “Education, Youth and E-learning”. Then, the purpose of the workshop was described to them as such: “Our goal is to set an action plan which helps provide the public with a realistic and sustainable solution for the E-waste problem by making use of technology; hence, we would be forming responsible E-generators through our educational activities”. The participants were then divided into 4 groups (A, B, C and D). Each group had 45 minutes to come up with an action plan, write it down on two papers, and then chose a spokesperson to describe it to the rest of the participants.

    Then, A&B switched plans, and so did C&D, as a form of peer to peer review: this helped fill in the gaps of each action plan by the participants themselves; the second activity was also followed by a presentation.

    The participants integrated technology in their action plans, e.g.: 1 group suggested the creation of awareness software that can be transferred via mobile phones.

    As a result, a network was formed: “Responsible E-learning through E-waste Best Management” NGO network. It gathers around 20 NGOs and institutions, willing to diffuse awareness on the hazards of E-waste. Beeatoona will act as a hub for the network and maintain the communication and exchanges, which will be sustained electronically. Therefore, a database was formed and the 1st E-mail was sent on the day that follows the event.

    The network shall collaborate further via E-mailing, in order to come up with the ideal action plan in the near future.