RMF’s Agricultural Center of the North (CAN)
The Center was established in October 1997 and became the heart of RMF’s various agricultural activities which have been running since 1994. The center’s objectives target the whole agricultural cycle.
They can be summarized as follows:
•Training of farmers
•Provision of technical assistance
•Aid to farmers to collect, package and store their products
•Aid to farmers to process their products
•Assistance to farmers to commercialize and market their end product
Within the Center, the following activities take place on a daily basis:
•Cold Storage Facility: Helps farmers store various fruits in ideal conditions until market prices rise. Has storage capacity of 120,000 crates or 2,400 tons of fruit.
•Dairy Processing Facility: Purchases fresh and high quality milk to be turned into cheese and other popular local dairy products. Processes 3-4 tons of fresh milk every day.
•Olive Oil Collection Center: Collection point for olive oil from local smallholder producers. It has a holding capacity of 100,000 liters.
•Tree Nursery: Developing and growing fruit and forest trees.
•Ice Cream Production Center: Newly operational initiative making fresh and delicious ice cream from local dairy milk.
•Fresh Cut Vegetable Processing Center: Processes various vegetables to be cut into various forms for delivery to local restaurants.
The ‘Institut Technique René Moawad’ (ITRM)
ITRM was established on September 4, 2012. ITRM is a joint venture, founded upon an agreement between RMF, the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE), and the Directorate of Vocational and Technical Education.
The Institute is located in Mejdlaya, which ideally located because it is halfway between Zgharta and Tripoli, allowing students from different cultural and religious groups to easily access the Institute, serving all Lebanese students without discrimination.
The mission is to offer high quality educational courses, taught by experienced and carefully chosen instructors, supported by a highly dedicated, and competent administrative team. ITRM brings to life an educational approach by providing the finest technical education in the area with its various educational levels which cover a wide range of specializations giving students the chance to find gainful employment.
The Children’s Nursery: Etoile Du Nord
The Etoile Du Nord Children’s Nursery was established in the 2004 school year, with support from the Spanish Agency of International Development and the Fundación Promoción Social de la Cultura (FPSC).
The nursery targets children aged 1 to 3. It is located next to RMF’s offices and campus in Mejdlaya. The premises cover about 300 square meters and is composed of four large classrooms, two administrative offices, two large indoor and outdoor playgrounds, a dining hall, a medical dispensary and common space. The space has been outfitted with toys, and games all of which can be used for educational purposes.
The primary goals of the nursery are to:
• Develop activities designed to enhance young children’s life skills.
• Fostering the early growth of educational awareness.
• Promoting permanent training and experience for the Nursery’s educators.
• Prepare children to enter primary school, setting them up for success.
Early childhood education is increasingly viewed as a crucial aspect of the development of a child and their progress through the educational system. There is a significant amount of research that has been done, which points to the many benefits of having young children engage in stimulating, educationally based activities.
The RMF Center for Education and Protection Services
The Center for Education and Protection Services, located in Bab El Tebbaneh, Tripoli was inaugurated on January 2006. This center was established in order to provide opportunities for the marginalized and vulnerable youth of this neighborhood to benefit from services specifically meant for them and their families. The Center offers the following services to the neighborhood:
• Remedial educational classes
• Life-skills sessions
• Vocational training classes
• Professional counseling
• Psycho-social Support
• Artistic and Recreational activities
• Literacy programs
The Center has become an integral part of RMF’s network of fixed centers, providing the launching pad for many donor supported projects through the years since its establishment. Adapting to the current needs in the community, the Center now also hosts some Syrian Refugee children, providing psycho-social support, and remedial educational classes, as many Syrian children are dealing with trauma and have been out of formal education for a prolonged period of time.
Due to Lebanon’s mountainous terrain, there are villages situated in remote areas, making them difficult to access, and hard for those residents to travel long distances. This is particularly the case concerning medical care, because most of the time, these communities do not have adequate health centers from which they can receive the necessary care they need.
In order to address this dire issue, RMF began running mobile dispensaries to these rural areas, to provide the necessary health services. This service has grown since RMF started with only one mobile dispensary in 1991 to three dispensaries visiting 109 rural villages on a regular basis by 2003.
There is always a general medical practitioner, and a nurse practitioner present during the rounds of the clinic. They provide free check-ups, distribute medicine, and provide information on vaccinations, general hygiene, and health education.
These mobile dispensaries have become increasingly important as they have begun to serve Syrian Refugees who are living in and among the Lebanese population. They are extremely vulnerable, and in need of as much help as they can get. RMF now serves both Syrian and Lebanese populations.
RMF Community Clinic
RMF believes strongly in the importance of ensuring a healthy society, this is a key aspect of our strategy towards improving livelihoods and quality of life in Lebanon. RMF operates and maintains a community clinic, located in Zgharta, in order to provide for the healthcare needs of the surrounding areas, including Tripoli, Akkar, and Dunnieh. The clinic caters specifically to those patients who are most at risk, and on the lowest ends of the socio-economic scale.
RMF has been able to make significant upgrades in the quality and diversity of the services offered at the clinic. This includes a dental clinic, a medical laboratory, and a pharmacy. This holistic set of services ensures that those who use the clinics services can receive more holistic care, managing all of their primary care needs in one place.
All health services provided by the clinic are at a reduced cost to the patients, and all medicines distributed by the pharmacy are subsidized. RMF-USA has also played an important role in supporting the Community Clinic, helping to provide medical supply donations to the Clinic to improve its ability to provide care.