Under the project “Technical Supervision and Training for Lebanese Women” W.I.R.L.A was established as a network for rural women in the different Lebanese villages.
It was launched on April 2009 with women from the regions of Jbeil and Batroun. The first step was to create a touristic product in these localities: “Rural Routes between Jbeil & Batroun”. This route aims to create economic opportunities in these rural areas by promoting it as a tourist destination, exposing the Lebanese cultural heritage and by improving and engaging women to provide services in response to the tourist’s demands.
The engagement of the women in these activities was consolidated through the W.I.R.L.A network regrouping around 37 women. Through Al Tilal Institute, different training programs have been offered such as: cultural heritage, tour guiding, hospitality skills, languages, computer, accounting, management, marketing, decoration etc. These trainings enable them to develop their skills, improve their micro-businesses and provide a better quality of touristic services.
Nowadays, W.I.R.L.A. is facilitating women that are ready to provide services in the villages for their communities and for visitors to strengthen their actions within this network of communication, links, promotion, updating and training activities.
W.I.R.L.A is giving the women many opportunities to access new demands that may be offered such as:
-Participation in exhibitions
-Selling products through internet
-Promoting their products and offered services through the brochure of “Rural Routes”
In 2010 exchange programs were organized with the Women’s Association of Deir el Ahmar (W.A.D.A.) who will be joining the network. As well, women from Bcharre have started the training sessions and have joined W.I.R.L.A.