New Horizons Open

Finding a source of living under current circumstances in Syria has become harder than ever, especially for marginalised groups like people with disabilities. With UNDP’s support, 15 ambitious youth with disabilities were selected from 250 applicants to be trained in photography, digital photo editing, filmmaking, and success story writing in Damascus. On conclusion of the training, participants became skilled enough to start their own businesses in these fields. They were also provided with computers to support them in their future endeavours.

Participants in UNDP -supported “Peace Lens” workshop in Damascus

During this initiative, several side-training activities were conducted aiming at increasing public awareness about the rights of people with disabilities and what they can contribute to the society. The activities also helped to build a strong rapport between participants and their trainers, leading to a more effective training experience. Participants were provided with needed support to start their own businesses and the three top achievers were chosen to produce various communication materials for UNDP.

Dana, 24, is a postgraduate student from the Faculty of Architecture. She is hard of hearing and has been using hearing aids for 19 years. Her disability caused a lot of communication difficulties for her during university years.

Dana during her participation in “Peace Lens” workshop

“Peace Lens” workshop has given her enough courage to express her thoughts and helped her to better communicate her story to others. The effective interaction between trainees and their trainers has helped breaking the ice and encouraging her to participate in all the activities.

Dana is receiving the certificate of completion from UNDP Syria Country Director

She says: ‘I’ve learned storytelling techniques as well as filmmaking and success stories writing. I feel more self-confident and capable of facing the camera without being nervous or shy. Peace Lens was one of the best experiences I have ever had. A lot of interactions and friendly competitions were there. I was enormously touched by the workshop and many aspects of my life have changed. All the trainees have become one family. Among them, I felt no longer disabled, rather a new human being with lots of power and ability to realize my dreams and ambitions.’