This is their origin story:
It all started back in the spring of 2009, when Zeina Saab, the founder of The Nawaya Network, took a trip to the Bekaa Valley to work on a youth empowerment project. While touring a community center there, a young girl approached her and began showing her beautiful designs of dresses she had created. Zeina was stunned. She asked her if anyone had ever taught her, and the girl said no. Page after page, Zeina soon realized that she had a clear talent for fashion design, and could one day become a designer.
But, looking around her, Zeina realized that this girl’s dream would be far from reach because of a lack of resources in the village. How exactly, then, could this girl reach her full potential?
It was from that encounter that Zeina soon became aware of the hidden potential that exists amongst youth, and she began to wonder how many others with great passions and talents are out there, unable to realize their dreams simply because they are either unable to afford it, or live very far from all the resources.
So she began to think, what if a network existed with the primary purpose of connecting youth to resources that would help develop their talents and interests? Wouldn’t this ultimately generate greater opportunities for them in the future?
Through such a network, youth would be trained on a particular skill, while also gaining important life skills such as leadership, teamwork, communication, and work ethics through various workshops, thus helping to make them employable in the long-run through the network’s various business partners.
The opportunity to focus on their passions would help keep boys and young men off the streets and away from violence, crime, and drugs. For girls and young women, it would give them the opportunity to use their talents and skills to generate an income, giving them a greater sense of self-worth.
There is indeed so much hidden potential out there – but we rarely ever hear about it. The Nawaya Network aims to change this. We aim to discover the hidden potential in disadvantaged youth, connect them to resources that would help them develop their skills, and ultimately empower them to shape their future.