What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
I brought a group of 20 Palestinian refugee children to Melek Nimer's property. She brought a group of her elderly Palestinian refugees to her property for a joint bbq, swimming, music, games...etc.
Melek decided then to transform the property into Unite Lebanon Youth Project and hired me to create it - so we can do this every day!
Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.
Originally trained as a Family Therapist, David began his career providing therapy for runaway and gang-involved street youth in Boston. David briefly dabbled as a Crisis Clinician for the Boston Emergency Services Team, and then moved onto provide school-based therapy for several inner-city schools before setting out on his overseas journey as an international School Counselor.
Counseling at international schools in Istanbul, Copenhagen, and Beirut for a 6 year stint, it wasn't until 2007 when David launched the Al Thulathy Al Mareh initiative - recognized and honored by the United Nations Development Program - this project made an attempt to break down barriers and provide reconciliation opportunities for Lebanese and Palestinians to join together. Concurrently, David had also begun, El Rahelet - since absorbed by Social Support Society - a program that buses groups of Palestinian refugee children out of 5 different camps across Lebanon, giving them a lot of first time opportunities such as horse-back riding, swimming, and bowling.
David has volunteered in the slums of India with Goan street youth, and makes trips to the West Bank to volunteer and peace-keep at various checkpoints and conflicted "hot-spots." David holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Southern Maine, and a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Massachusetts - Boston. He is licensed in the U.S. as a Mental Health Counselor.
David Bakis is from Massachusetts, USA.
How did you first hear about Changemakers?
Web Search (e.g., Google or Yahoo)
If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company