Edited version of the original post on Hayya Bina’s blog. Hayya Bina is a Lebanon based NGO working on promoting inclusive citizenship and participated in E-Mediat trainings in Lebanon.
Hayya Bina is a Lebanese civic initiative dedicated to offering a platform for moderate, liberal and independent voices and launched the Teach Women English (TWE) program in 2008. TWE is dedicated to promoting economic opportunities for women in rural regions of Lebanon through English language education. Given the difficulty of accessing peripheral and rural locations, TWE has predominately relied upon traditional means of promoting the program in remote areas of society, including face-to-face meetings, phone calls, and letters. As TWE grew, so did the need to expand methods of communication and promotion.
The rapidly evolving world of online social networking offers opportunities for individuals, business and organizations to connect with potential partners, sponsors, donors, teachers, students, and friends in ways never before possible. After attending a training session on the importance and uses of social media with E-Mediat in Lebanon, Hayya Bina decided that internet networking would be the best way to fill in the ever-growing communication gap among TWE participants and expand the visibility of the project in Lebanon. Early on in 2011, the organization created a page on Facebook to test whether or not this new form of social networking would be successful for TWE. Membership to the TWE Facebook page grew rapidly, becoming a popular place for the women to share their thoughts and photos of the program. It also became an important tool for disseminating information about upcoming events and changes within TWE.
Hayya Bina quickly realized that all women could benefit from the lessons learnt on effectively using social media, and added a ‘Social Media’ session to the Teacher’s Training and Orientation held in Faraya this November. Since the training, traffic to the Organization’s Facebook site has drastically increased. Current members have been using the site more often, and the page is constantly registering new members! The Facebook page experiment has become so popular that the Organization has decided to expand TWE’s online exposure to blogosphere, through Google’s Blogger. The blog site is expected to be a platform for providing the audience with detailed information about the program and sharing feedback. We hope that more people join in Hayya Bina’s attempt to enhance online information exchange and networking opportunities for expanding TWE.