A foundational pillar of Heart for Lebanon:
Growing up, my parents had me at a French speaking school. The academic program was exceptional and tough. French literature was one of my favorite classes to attend. But often, I would argue with my professor who seemed extremely stingy with grades. Her famous two phrases were “hors sujet” or “hors contexte” meaning off-topic or out of context. No matter how well written my papers were, my professor would harshly penalize me for drifting out of context or for focusing on off-topic, irrelevant subjects.
Today, many years later, I am still reminded of the importance to be context focused which would enhance the credibility of the subject matter addressed. With this in mind, we at Heart for Lebanon have set, as top priority in 2018, the quest to become “subject matter experts” in Relief and Community Care as well as in our Children at Risk Initiative. In order to do so, we believe that we need to be; we must continue to be context to content driven and not the other way around. The context within which we serve should drive the conversation and from that context our programs, curriculums, and strategies should emerge.
There are many content-rich programs out there. But unfortunately, a good number of them have failed to be tested against the various contexts they are being used in. A good, well thought through program built in one part of the world is not necessary good for another part of the world. We often fail to contextualize the curriculums we use and tend to borrow from other contexts without making the subject relevant to those we serve and to the communities we belong to. Our programs become content driven, heavy in universal theories, but poor in relevancy and weak in personal meanings to the ones intend to.
At Heart for Lebanon, we seriously believe, for us to become and continue to be “subject matter experts” in what we do and in the programs we deliver, we need to develop our material with the appropriate context in mind without jeopardizing the content quality. Our conversations begin in-context and our field experiences will drive the creativity of our content writers. Once curriculums and programs are written, they will once again be context tested and tried. Modifications and adjustments will emerge from the field-testing and content enrichment is an ongoing process.
We believe that the children we serve and the families we reach out to deserve our best. For that reason, we will make every attempt to develop programs that are rich in content and relevant in context. We understand that this is a process rather than an event; this is a journey that we need to take. We do not claim to be the best content experts. But we believe that once our material is context-to-content built it will make us “subject matter experts” in the field of ministry we serve in.
Together, we can offer those we serve the best relevant-material available.