Balaha - بلاها

Member

Ali Harsho


Duration

From May 19 to October 31, 2019

Target

Smokers especially heavy smokers and teenage smokers


Target population

5300


People impacted

300000


Sustainable Development Goal

Good Health and Well-Being


Development stage

Health and Wellness


Purpose

In a community where smoking has become a habit if not a trend, the number of smoking people including children, teenagers and even more women and so passive smokers is increasing and leading to numerous breathing and cancerous diseases. The aim of the project is to limit the health catastrophes caused by Tobacco by raising the awareness of smokers in collaboration with Governmental parties and specialized doctors including psychological and addiction specialists.


Overview

Caused by the lack of health awareness and the Syrian crisis, a remarkable increase in the percentage of smokers was registered according to the Ministry of health reaching more than 60% among teenagers. JCI Aleppo decided to conduct a complete project which will take part in limiting this trend. In collaboration with several parties: Health, Government and Tourism sectors and under the patronage of Aleppo's Governor the " Balaha" project was conducted in 6 phases to insure the correct impact and sustainability of the project.

1- A lecture and open discussion was organized with the presence of 50 specialist doctors and youngsters including JCI members and non-members. The forum included a medical explanation by the specialized doctors Dr. Bassam Al-Hayek (addiction/ physician) and Dr. Maan Haffar (Cardio-thoracic specialist) about the disadvantages of smoking and its psychological and medical damages on the human body and the therapeutic methods to follow in order to quit smoking.

2- Debate team of the International Junior Chamber of Aleppo demonstrated a live debate about "The assembly believes that smoking is a personal freedom" to attendees who were dazzled by the performance and asked to enroll in JCI to learn more about debating.

3- Two weeks before the open forum, on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day held a photography competition under the title "Stop Smoking" where participating pictures should reflect the harm caused from smoking and encourage people to stop smoking. 25 People entered the competition and the best 3 pictures (judged by a committee formed from professional photographs) were awarded during the event/ forum.

4- A week after the main event, JCI Aleppo members, in collaboration with Aleppo Police Department distributed 5,000 No Smoking stickers in public transportation vehicles and common waiting areas emphasizing on the decree which states that smoking is prohibited in public means of transportation and which has been looked over because and during the crisis.

5- As a second outcome of the discussions held during the lecture, a meeting with Dr. Bassam Hayek, the head of Ibn Khaldoun hospital for mental and addiction diseases took place and Dr. Bassam suggested to train some JCI members on how to approach people with addiction and help them quit gradually in a specialized way. The training will be held in the first week of October 2019 and 20 members will attend.

6- Another outcome from the lecture was suggested by the Director of Tourism in Aleppo, Mrs Nayla Chahoud, who invited a team from JCI to accompany her during her monitoring visits to coffee shops and restaurants and report about the very bad hygiene condition and storing of Hubble bubbles who have been causing the transition of many diseases and share the outcomes of the reports with people in order to limit the use of this tool.


Actions Taken

1
Prepare a short awareness video based on the visits to cafes and filming scenes that reflect the reality of passive and youngsters smoking
2
Participate with a mission from the Directory of Tourism in Aleppo in monitoring visits to coffee shops and restaurants
3
Organize training and its logistics for 20 interested JCI members on how to approach people with addiction and help them quit gradually in a specialized way
4
Organize and attend a meeting with Dr. Bassam Hayek, the head of Ibn Khaldoun hospital for mental and addiction diseases to discuss further interventions in collaboration with JCI
5
Map mostly jammed areas with bus stops and form and distribute teams to distribute stickers and remind drivers about the No smoking in public transportation decree
6
Get approvals to print and distribute with policemen 5,000 No Smoking stickers in public transportation vehicles and common waiting areas emphasizing on the decree which states that smoking is prohibited in public means of transportation
7
Organize photography competition (advertising, judging, printing...)
8
Prepare for debate game (forming teams and training)
9
Organize the event: lecture in terms of seating, agenda, logistics, ICT equipment, coffee break...
10
Get required approvals for holding a gathering and having the support of Aleppo Governor and book hall

Results

- The project and the targeted ideas people and was established based on a community need and not just for the sake of having a project on the occasion of an international day.
- The attendees of the main event were many and from varied professional backgrounds ( doctors, lawyers, Governmental institutes, journalists, teachers, students...) which made room for very interesting conversations and community based needs.
- The Director of Tourism after attending the session invited JCI to collaborate and work further on the project which is the same with Dr. Bassam Hayek.
- The project did not end at the conference held on the 2nd of June but had many stages afterwards in response to the picked up needs and is ongoing.
- The project will be executed over a period of 5 months and more ideas can and will follow up which makes its impact and sustainability worth bragging about.
- Some JCI members decided to quit smoking or smoke less after participating in the project.


Recommendations

- Project that last longer and have several stages based on a proper assessment of needs are more effective and sustainable and will surely have the required impact in the community.
- Insist that members have backups when handling a task to avoid last minute surprises due to those who can't attend or complete their tasks.

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