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Print screen of Food Safety association Lebanon NGO

Print screen of Food Safety association Lebanon NGO

I am not panicking, I am thinking how we can stop microbes, poisoning clients and people in restaurants and food places in Lebanon. Kids love to eat nuggets and Macdo Nuggets are bad?!  There is not a proper law for food safety that sets standards for  what we eat  in restaurants in Lebanon. Our dear MPs have not voted for a law for food Safety in Lebanon, I just found that late Fuleihan proposed a law, but “In 2006, the law was debated in the council of ministers and sent to parliament for further discussion but there has been no action since. ” Also, as per the Daily Star in 2012, “Future Movement MP Atef Majdalani submitted  a draft law on food safety, saying it aims to modernize a sector which has failed to keep up with modern standards.” Again, Nothing happened and a law protecting people’s life has not been “Cooked”.

I checked the Official gazette, nothing was voted and published in it since then related to food safety, so is the law sleeping in Parliament drawers, while citizens are eating “bad” and poisonous food? Food that is ‘dipped in diseases and microbes’ as yesterday’s Minister Faour Said in his press conference? Does anyone has other information ?

as for the minister Abou Faour , Is this just a flash campaign from the ministry of health, “flash” as “flash mobs” or will they continue testing “without taking “Rendez-vous” from restaurants and eating facilities? how can Inspectors for food safety not be bribed? Will the ministry publish the details of the results of all tests done? And what were they “testing”? Hygiene, microbes, salmonella?

I checked if there is Non Governmental Organisations working on the subject, I just found one called LAFS  Lebanese Association for Food Safety , they are not very active as their website is not updated and their Facebook Page is sleeping since the “Labneh scandal”,  March 27 2014 I believe, here is a print screen.

The good thing I found on their website are the description of Symptoms and illnesses even though they don’t add the sources of their information. Below is a copy paste of what is related to that.

I am repeating my self, Food Safety comes First, we need to have a proper law that regulates the tests, the “kabssets” and proper system of implementation that will penalize those who brake the law.

Again, I am repeating my last questioning post related to Roadster a place I go to a lot, what is the take of Roadster related to the chicken that failed the test? Especially that the cover page picture of Lebanese association for food safety on Facebook  shows a partnership with roadsterdiner.

My question, is food safety truly respected at roadsters or it is just a communication campaign and branding issue?

as for my credentials : a normal citizen asking for her right for proper and safe food in a country known for its restaurants and hospitality and eating services and Tabbouleh!

Rita Chemaly

Cover picture of the Lebanese Association for Food Safety partnering with Roadsterdiner taken from Facebook

Cover picture of the Lebanese Association for Food Safety partnering with Roadsterdiner taken from Facebook

Symptoms and Illnesses

Staphylococcus aureus

Symptoms

  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

Illness

  • Symptoms usually occur 2 to 6 hours after consumption of the contaminated food
  • Illness is self-limiting and lasts for 24 hours

 

Clostridium botulinum

Symptoms:

  • Nausea, dizziness, vomiting, blurred vision, fatigue, and double vision
  • Loss of muscle activity, slurred speech, difficult swallowing, breathing and moving limbs
  • If left untreated, death occurs within 1-5 days from respiratory failure

 

Illness

  • Symptoms start to occur 18-35 hours after the ingestion
  • Infant botulism was associated with consuming honey
  • Can be treated if caught early

 

Campylobacter jejuni

Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain/cramps
  • Headache, Diarrhea (sometimes bloody)
  • Nausea and sometimes vomiting
  • Fever, chills

 

Illness

  • Individuals normally gets sick after 2-5 days of consuming the contaminated food
  • Duration is approximately 1 week
  • Further complications could be Meningitis, paralysis leading to death

 

Salmonella

Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Fever and chills
  • Diarrhea, cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Illness

  • Individuals normally gets sick 12 to 24 hours of consuming the contaminated food
  • Period of illness is 1-3 days
  • Infected individuals can carry and shed Salmonella for months without showing any symptoms.

 

Listeria monocytogenes

Symptoms

  • In healthy individuals the symptoms are “flu-like”
  • Susceptible individuals (pregnant women, elderly, newborns and infants, immunosuppressed individuals:
  • Stillbirth or abortion
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Septicemia (infection of the blood)
  • Endocarditis (inflammation of the heart)

Illness

  • Individuals normally gets sick after few days to 35 days of consuming the contaminated food
  • High mortality rate (30-40%)!!

E coli O157:H7

Symptoms:

  • Bloody diarrhea and urine
  • Kidney failure and death

Illness

  • Infective dose is extremely low < 10 cells!!!
  • Incubation period is around 2 days
  • High mortality rate!

Bacillus cereus

Illness and symptoms

  • Two types of syndromes
  • The first
    • Onset of symptoms occur within 8 to 16 hours of ingesting the food
    • Duration of the illness is short 6-24 hours
    • Main symptom: Diarrhea
  • The second
    • Illness similar to Staph aureus
    • Onset of symptoms is short (1-6 hours)
    • Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, and eventually diarrhea

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NGOs in Lebanon: Abusing Their Workers in the Name of Human Rights

“Ability to work under stress, alone or in a team, and the ability to multitask.” These are some of the conditions repeated in most job ads for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Lebanon. “Under stress” and “multitasking” might not seem like the kind of expressions that call for closer examination, yet they often tacitly spell worker exploitation.

With a fragile Lebanese economy, many qualified young people look for work in the fastest “growing” sector in Lebanon and that is the NGO sector. Most of these people are forced to accept adverse working conditions under the pretext of working for the public good and supporting important humanitarian causes! Labor rights are seen as nothing but a minute detail that distracts from fundamental goals like “poverty reduction,” “the empowerment of women,” “good governance,” “conflict resolution and the dialogue of civilizations” as well as other such concepts shoved down people’s throats by funders.

Organizations in Lebanon are not new, they were one of the foundations of sectarian pastoral institutions shortly before Lebanon’s independence and the withdrawal of foreign forces in 1946. They also flourished during the war to compensate for the breakdown of the state. But after 1990, and with the rise of structural economic policies globally accompanied by the gradual withdrawal of the welfare state, civil organizations proliferated dramatically. Funds from international donors started pouring in to address the social repercussions of structural changes that occurred in state institutions.The number of associations registered, according to the Law of Associations, reached 5,623 in 2007. If we exclude from this figure political parties, clubs, scouts and family ties in addition to fictitious or inactive associations then the number would range between 1,200 to 1,500 organizations, according to the 2010 civil society organizations directory.

Open Job Opportunities

Civil society organizations’ fields of activity have varied over the past few years and so have the approaches they take, ranging from charity to services and development. Funding increased and the donors multiplied. This created new job opportunities that are rarely found in the public and private sectors especially for medium-qualified and highly-qualified young people.

For example, the number of job vacancies on the website Lebanon Support (a civil society portal) sometimes reaches about 800 positions, according to the executive director Bassem Chit.

The civil organizations sector brought with it new kinds of professions that are not recognized in the public and private sectors, including human rights trainer, facilitator and advocacy officer. Some Lebanese universities have started to provide disciplines for these jobs to respond to market demand.

As with the private sector, this sector has witnessed a decline in labor earnings… though hidden in its “non-profit” cloak.

It is hard to count the number of employees in these organizations because only a small percentage of them have work contracts that are registered with social security. And even if they have contracts, they often work for short periods of time (depending on the length of the projects), and herein lies the problem. The civil society organizations sector is characterized by an absolute lack of job security and stability.

Chit said that while donors used to operate based on programs which lasted longer and needed a medium-term strategy, the current trend is to fund short-term projects and rely on contractors to cut labor cost.

Maya (not her real name) has ten years experience in civil society organizations, during which she moved between seven different organizations (the longest period she spent at one organization was a year and a half). Throughout those years she only received social security benefits for two years, therefore she was deprived of a large chunk of end of service indemnity. She admits that she has recurring anxiety about funding running out or the project ending. She remembers an incident that happened when she used to work for an organization concerned with women’s rights on a program addressing women’s economic rights, including social security. She says that she felt embarrassed working on this campaign: “How did we have the nerve to work for women’s social security at a time when the organization consisted mostly of women who lacked social security?”

Zeina (not her real name) has worked at many organizations since 2003. She believes that the basic offense lies in the manipulation of concepts and values which legitimizes many violations at work. She explains: “One can not ask for a raise or adhere to certain working hours or calculate overtime… because one’s work is divided between the job and volunteering.”

She says that at one of her jobs she was signing papers stating that her monthly salary was $900 while in reality she was receiving $700. When she complained about it the executive director justified it by saying that the association takes from employees’ salaries to pay for office expenses that were not taken into consideration by the funder in the budget.

Zeina’s case apparently is not unique. Based on the interviews we conducted, the problem is a common one in these organizations even if the excuses differ. Walid (not his real name), for example, has been working for a year at an association concerned with women’s rights. He says that part of his salary was deducted to pay social security contributions in full, including the employer’s contribution!

Zeina says that the problem she experienced most at work was the large number of tasks she was assigned that went beyond the scope of her “job,” under the pretext that part of the work is volunteer-based.

Farah remembers her first work experience in an organization concerned with refugee issues. When she asked her director about working hours, the director responded firmly: “There are no work hours here, we’re all volunteers.” Farah said she couldn’t stay for a long time in this organization as “employees” were on average putting in about 12 hours work a day in addition to working weekends, which was the normal trend. Of course there is no overtime pay because “the funder pays based on the tasks performed, not the hours of work,” says Maya.

The violations do not stop there, according to the editor of the Lebanese Observatory for the rights of Workers and Employees, Ahmad al-Dirani. He says that in addition to the problem of not having contracts and workers being deprived of social security and set work hours, most organizations do not have a mechanism for wage increases and most workers did not get the wage increase that was passed recently.Furthermore, under the pretext of being secular, some civil society organizations do not commit to all the official religious holidays and do not give vacations. In the last organization where Zeina worked, which was concerned with legal and human rights issues, she was allowed eight days of vacation annually instead of 15 – a clear violation of labor law.

Despite the human rights approach adopted by most civil society organizations, you find a lot of discriminatory practices between employees, whether in hiring or employment conditions. “We have the foreigner complex,” says Maya with a bitter smile. She says that during her work she came across many cases of discrimination between the “locals” and the foreigners. “With the same job description and indentical tasks and qualifications required, there was a $300 difference in wages between a French employee and myself, even though she did not know Arabic.”

Al-Dirani believes that the working conditions of civic association employees are still a lot worse, even though they enjoy job stability due to the flow of funds from religious and sectarian institutions.

Jinan is a nurse at a medical clinic that belongs to a religious organization. She has been working for five years for minimum wage, she has no work contract and does not receive social security benefits or health insurance and not even her yearly vacation.

Samia is in no better a situation. She’s been working for six years in an organization that belongs to a prominent political personality and there too “working hours depend on the work that needs to be done.” She indicates also that she does not have social security or private insurance.

Volunteering… or Cheap Labor?

Most of these violations take place under the guise of volunteering. The United Nations Volunteer Program defines volunteer work as “contributions that individuals make as non-profit, non-wage… action for the well-being of their neighbours, and society at large.”

If we step away from the idealism of this definition and we look at the dynamics of work and relationships between people inside organizations it becomes clear that volunteering has become in many cases synonymous with cheap labor.

The way money is dealt with in these NGOs is made evident in the examples that Walid cited about his work in this field. He saw how money is generously spent on hotels and taxis, so he did not have the audacity to convince target populations, most of them from poor and marginalized areas, to volunteer.

Who’s the Boss?

Labor relations in this field are no doubt ambiguous. The identity of the worker is lost between volunteering and working and the role of the employer is not clearly defined and is lost between the board of directors, the executive director and the funder.

If legally the employer is the administrative body then actual power is likely to lie in the hands of the executive director who is hired by an organization to be in charge of personnel management and to perform daily tasks. That is, the executive director is the decision-maker when it come to the terms and working conditions of the rest of the employees.

For Zeina, the executive director is the boss, meaning he is the person with whom she negotiates for her labor rights while “the role of the administrative body in this respect is often marginal.”

Walid points out that despite the direct daily relationship with his executive director, the funder bears a huge responsibility whether directly or indirectly in terms of determining working conditions.

Based on her experience in dealing with donors, Zeina stressed that in the best case scenario, some funders force management to sign model contracts (that include tasks, duration of contract and salary) but without determining the hours of work, social security, end of service indemnity and mechanisms for complaints.Maya is sure that most funders do not observe the working conditions at the organizations they deal with and even if they notice violations at work, they turn a blind eye.

It appears then that work relationships are three-pronged and consist of the employee, management and funder. The last party might seem absent but has a lot of influence. If exploitation of workers in the private sector involves reducing their share of added value for the benefit of increasing the corporation’s capital and the investors’ profits, exploitation in civil society organizations consists of reducing labor costs (wages and social security) to invest in projects and activities in order to compete with other organizations and attract more funding.

The ambiguity of labor relationships and the resulting “invisible” exploitation are not the only obstacles to organizing this sector and defending the rights of its workers. The problem also lies in the workers’ way of thinking and the logic of their work that relies on dialogue to “resolve conflicts” and the “we all benefit and no one loses” mentality regardless of who has the authority and the capital.

The question therefore remains, are employees of NGOs who are used to legalizing conflict and diluting it able to engage in a battle to defend their labor rights?

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

an Article by CAROLE KERBAJ

Source: http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/ngos-lebanon-abusing-their-workers-name-human-rights

 

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Job  Vacancy 1:  Senior Consultant needed for ABAAD in Lebanon
Title: Senior Consultant
Program: “Non-Discrimination and Reinforcement of Women Peace and Security Agenda in the MENA Region” – Lebanon National Consultations
Duration: Short Term Consultancy – Approx. 3 months (April – June 2012)
ABAAD – Resource Center for Gender Equality and Women’s League for International Peace and Freedom (WILPF) are seeking a Senior Consultant to lead the national consultations pertaining to Lebanon’s women peace and security agenda. More specifically, to identify and/map women’s issues and concerns that relates to the policy of UNSCR 1325.
The overall goal of the national consultation is to advance women’s rights and women’s participation in peace and security issues. The objective is to advance women’s rights by identifying the challenges and opportunities for women’s participation in matters relating to peace and security Lebanon.
The consultation will be organized in partnership with relevant UN Agencies, research institutes and NGOs and is coordinated by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, supported by UNFPA, UNDP, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), International Commission of Jurists, Kvinna till Kvinna, International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) Women’s Network, Geneva Institute for Human Rights (GIHR), Geneva Graduate Institute, Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP), Women In International Security (WIIS), Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES);
for more information do check the attached form abaad senior consultant

 

Job  Vacancy 2:  HR/Administrator/Logistic Assistant with OXFAM
DEPARTMENT: Lebanon Programme, MEECIS Region
SALARY: E1 – 900 – 1000 US$ per month (depending on qualifications) and other government benefits
OXFAM PURPOSE: To work with others to overcome poverty and suffering.
TEAM PURPOSE: To implement Oxfam’s strategic and operational priorities within Lebanon Program. To support and to contribute to the development of Oxfam GB Programme in line with the Regional Business Plan.
JOB PURPOSE: To perform administrative tasks to support delivery of a discrete work area within a unit or department, enabling those supported to be more effective; to perform support tasks to progress human resources functions to enhance the organisation’s performance through our people.
Lebanon Staff reporting to this post: Driver/ Cleaning Lady
KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:
Human Resources:
● Planning staff recruitment, including preparation of and publication of job announcements online and in other media, setting up interview schedules; long and short-listing, preparing interview questions and test materials
● Member of recruitment panel
● To make sure induction for newly recruited staff is arranged and followed up
● Responsible for maintenance of HR Management Information database (HRMIS) and production of monthly management reports
● Responsible for setting up and maintaining personnel files, including monitoring of probationary periods, absence records, contracts, annual leave records etc.
● Service contract management
● Responsible for preparation of monthly payroll, calculation of additional benefits, end of contract payments etc.
● Responsible for monitoring changes in employment law
● Leading in the preparation of regular Salary and Benefits surveys and pay and benefits related business cases for approval by Oxfam HQ in Oxford
● Responsible for Health and Safety for the programme
● Responsibe for identifying Learning and Development needs and sourcing L&D opportunities for Oxfam Lebanon staff members
Office Administration:
● Daily management of petty cash, and invoices
● Visitors’ liaison, general enquiries, visitors to the programme, including accommodation, visa arrangements, external travel arrangements etc.
● Focal person for coordination of complex and large-scale events such as workshops, conferences etc.
● Medical Database administration and claim management
● Accompany programme staff during the field visits to support in organisational activities
● Providing advice to colleagues and partners on relevant OGB policies as required
● Payment of all regular bills including phones, rents, contractors
● Prepare a list of partners and contact details for Oxfam
● Keep log phone book
● Communicating to all on office close due to public holidays
IT:
● Report on critical IT issues
● Communicate and support the IT with the recruited IT company and IT team of Oxfam
● Ensure regular maintenance and check up of the IT equipment
Logistics:
● Line manager to Driver
● Responible for procurement planning, sourcing, transportation, inventory management and various reporting
● Enforce Oxfam GB minimum standards in supply chain management providing advice to colleagues and partners as appropriate
● Act as emergency driver in the case of the absence of the driver
Qualification (essential):
● University or higher Diploma in related field
● At least three years experiences in admin/logistics and HR with national or international NGOs
● Experience in managing petty cash
● Strong computer usage including typing in Arabic and English
● Fluent in English
● Computer literacy
● Basic knowledge of IT simple tasks
● Driving licences
Desirable:
● Communication skills
● Proactive and result oriented,
● Ability to work with and support the team
● Gender awareness
● Able to handle multi-tasks at the same time
CVs to be sent to: Cmokdad@Oxfam.org.uk 
Job  Vacancy 3:  Marketing & Fundraising Assistant at the Cenacle de la Lumiere in Lebanon
As the marketing and fundraising assistant you will play a central role in the growth of CDLL’s mission. By developing and implementing innovative and effective marketing and fundraising strategies in line with the image values and beliefs of the NGO; you will raise the profile of CDLL with its different audiences and mobilize support to the cause securing the yearly budget.
Main responsibilities
– Assist in developing and implementing a yearly fundraising and marketing strategy and operational plans in coordination with the MFC.
– Support in identifying, researching, and exploring potential fundraising sources locally and internationally
– Keep up to date on latest developments in fundraising and marketing opportunities and activities of the NGOs environment
– Write letters of inquiry, concept notes and fill applications as necessary
– Develop and implement communication plans
– Assist and follow up the development and production of CDLL marketing and fundraising materials
– Maintain & update CDLL website and social media channels
– Support in the planning and implementation of events, campaigns and appeals
– Assist PR efforts and other tasks as requested by MFC
– Work constructively and creatively with colleagues to achieve marketing and fundraising objectives
– Carry out administrative and reporting responsibilities
– Ensure that the ethical and professional standards and practice are met, more info via this link
Job  Vacancy 4 : Finance Manager needed for immediate start at the British Council Lebanon
Type of Job: Full time
Basic salary LBP 2,126,667 + daily transportation LBP 8,000
Qualifications, skills and experience:
A diploma or a first degree in Finance
Excellent proven financial skills
Excellent English and Arabic
Customer Care orientation
Excellent Communication skills
IT Literacy skills
Ability to work independently and under pressure to achieve targets
The closing date for applications is Monday 9 April 2012. Please read the role profile carefully, check definitions of the behaviours and generic skills, and complete the application form using the ‘Guidance notes for completing application form section’ for assistance (This is found in the application form). Completed applications should be emailed to: Job.Vacancy@lb.britishcouncil.org specifying the job title in the subject line. No applications will be accepted after the closing date, and only shortlisted candidates will be notified.
For enquiries please call + 961 1 428900
The British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity.

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