SHiFT is a social innovation hub leading the transformation of post-conflict and/or marginalised zones towards peaceful and prosperous communities. It brings people together and bridges differences through building capacities, raising awareness, creating opportunities, promoting success models and mentoring.
SHiFT sees as its vision the social transformation of Qobbe, Jabal Mohsen and Bab Al Tabbaneh into prosperous, peaceful and cohesive communities.
Wars, geographic presence, and political interests have left Tripoli, the second biggest city in Lebanon, to struggle with a dire economic situation, high rates of school dropouts and poverty. In 2008-2014, further exacerbating insecurity and instability in the area, the city and its residents suffered from violent clashes between Sunnite and Alawite militias in the neighbourhoods of Jabal Mohsen, Qobbe and Bab al-Tabbeneh.
In 2015, after the Lebanese army implemented a security plan to end the conflict, four Tripoli residents and activists got together and founded a community centre called SHiFT. SHiFT became one of the only NGOs active on the former frontline of Bakkar/Amerkan/Mashroue between Jabal Mohsen and Qobbeh. There SHiFT’s founders refurbished two rooms of a badly destroyed building and started providing recreational activities to local youth. The location is strategic, as SHiFT’s building does not clearly belong to either Jabal Mohsen or Qobbe, and thus can become a shared space, bringing people together over tensions and conflict lines.
In the past four years, SHiFT has grown into a vibrant, 10-story social innovation hub for social transformation. Through discussions with the residents of post-conflict neighbourhoods, the founders of SHIFT saw an urgent need for people to find ways to sustain themselves without having to rely on benefits from persons or groups affiliated with the clashes. Hence SHiFT placed emphasis on improving the livelihoods of people living in the area. It began hosting and incubating various initiatives as well as empowering individuals and groups to create solutions for community problems aiming at the positive transformation of their socio-economic situation.
Throughout the years, social innovation has become a central component of all the activities at SHiFT. The SHiFT space gives an opportunity for individuals from the local communities to interact through the various activities and services that are provided and hence plant a seed towards reconciliation in each and every one of them.
SHiFT’s work is informed by the Roadmap to Reconciliation in Tripoli, a project that was launched in April 2017 with the purpose of creating an inclusive process for communal reconciliation in the city of Tripoli. SHiFT has been actively participating in and facilitating the coordination among members of the Roadmap to Reconciliation in Tripoli. Members of the Roadmap include Permanent Peace Movement, Peace Labs, Fighters for Peace, LRC, Youth for growth and development, and SEED.
SHiFT is a member of the NAWAT consortium, working on livelihood activities in Tripoli together with CARE Lebanon, Ruwwad Lebanon and Tripoli Entrepreneurs Club. SHiFT is also a member of the PASC (Working Group for Persons Affected by the Syrian Crisis) network.
Since 2015, SHiFT has worked with several international partners and donors, including USAID, UNDP, IOM, CARE Lebanon, Mercy Corps, HIVOS, GIZ, UNICEF, ForumFZD, Right to Play and Oxfam.
THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS AND DONORS SUPPORTING OUR WORK.