Under the patronage and in the presence of the Minister of Social Affairs, His Excellency Dr. Richard Kouyoumjian, the Department of Community Service and Awareness (CSA) – Office of Student Affairs (SAO) at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), in collaboration with Dr. Esther Ghanem, organized its “9th Annual NGO Fair 2019,” entitled "Bridging Community Service with the Workplace” on April 01, 2019.
NDU President Fr. Pierre Najem, Vice-President for Administration (VPA) at NDU Fr. Samir Ghsoub; Vice-President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) at NDU Dr. Elie Badr, Dean of Students at NDU Dr. Charbel Zgheib, faculty deans, faculty members, staff and students were in attendance.
Master of Ceremony, Mr. Majed Bou Hadir (Director of Public Affairs & Protocol) began the proceedings with a welcoming speech. He was followed by Fr. Najem, who said, "As an institution, we are able to give students the mental ability and help them to cross the practical step. As a Catholic institution, we are interested in building an integrated human being who is fully aware of the importance of community service."
Kouyoumjian accentuated the vital role of non-governmental organizations as a complement to the state in disseminating approaches with care societies and institutions to meet the needs of most vulnerable and needed individuals. Kouyoumjian expressed his joy at being at NDU, which is “inspired” with the mission of Lebanon and the Church in the East. He also stressed the necessity of universities to guide and educate students on the importance of social work and civic engagement, pointing out that this effort is not widespread in Lebanon.
Dr. Lara Khabbaz, Director of Marketing, moderated the first panel with 4 distinguished panelists:
Aline Karam, Chief Communications Officer at Alfa Telecommunications, Isabelle Naoum, Head of Communications at Blom bank, Rana Haddad, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Internal Communications Unit at Banque Libano-Francaise, and Lina Hourani, CSR Division Director at Al Ahli Holding Group. They spoke about the nature of CSR, their experience with it, and the importance of employing students who, during their studies, have taken a community-based, voluntary activity, which is at the core of their mission.
The second panel entailed the role of the university in educating its students and instilling in them a sense of social responsibility. The panel was moderated by Dr. Jennifer Abou Hamad, Director of Human Resources with the participation of Mrs. Nancy Ghoul, Senior Officer at the Department of Career and Placement - Office of Student Affairs, Dr. Esther Ghanem Assistant Professor at the Department of Sciences - FNAS and Ms. Stephanie Abboud, NDU Alumna. Speaking on her experiences as a student, Abboud said, “Volunteering in NGOs throughout my undergraduate studies at NDU has granted me a job opportunity even before graduation.”