- Age: 30
- | She/her/hers
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Meaningful youth engagement is the empowerment of young individuals to be involved and able to participate in planning and decision-making processes. Youth are talented, energetic, creative, and motivated to come up with pioneering solutions to the world's biggest problems.
- Lama Kilzar
Lama has dedicated her skillset and time to being an active agent of change in her community.
She received her education at the American University of Beirut where she pursued a B.S. degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. After graduation, Lama joined ABAAD – Resource Center for Gender Equality as the Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Officer, and the following year she was promoted to MEAL Coordinator. In June 2018, she joined The Kvinna Till Kvinna Foundation – a feminist donor that supports local women’s rights organizations- as the Lebanon Program Officer. In addition to her work, Lama also has several years of experience in social behavioral research as well as systematic reviews and guidelines where she is a published co-author. Lama always made sure she was making a difference in her society as she was involved in civil society organizations. She was a board member of Al Taawoun Lebanon (Welfare Association) and a committee member of the Unite Lebanon Youth Project Alumni Association (ULYPAA). She has co-managed and directed with a group of other public health practitioners a youth-led initiative that soon turned into a registered organization, under the name of 4 All Causes, that promotes public health awareness and reinforces community engagement. With 4 All Causes, she respectively served as the Program Coordinator, Vice President, and President since its inception in 2015. In October 2020, Lama relocated to Houston, Texas working remotely as the Lebanon Program Officer with Kvinna Till Kvinna until April 2021. Currently, Lama is the Partnership Manager at the Texas Office for Refugees West of the International Rescue Committee, where she oversees and supervises local organizations’ work to ensure quality provision of support services to refugees.
Lama is currently also a research advisory board member of the Coneflower Institute which is committed to ending the social stigma surrounding mental health issues through education, advocacy, and research.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
My interest in gender equality and the feminist movement sparked while growing up in a country that promotes inequality through its laws and legislative bodies. Being a Palestinian refugee woman in Lebanon placed my life in double jeopardy, as a woman, and as a refugee. This has motivated me to expose gender injustices through data by joining local women's rights organizations as the Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning Specialist to support data-driven advocacy efforts.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I like traveling, hiking, board games and binge-watching good TV series.
- Arabic (Native)
- English (Advanced)
- James, L. E., Welton-Mitchell, C., Michael, S., Santoadi, F., Shakirah, S., Hussin, H., Anwar, M., Kilzar, L., & James, A. (2021). Development and Testing of a Community-Based Intervention to Address Intimate Partner Violence among Rohingya and Syrian Refugees: A Social Norms-Based Mental Health-Integrated Approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(21), 11674.
- Lotfi, T., Itani, M. I., Howeiss, P., Kilzar, L., Rizk, N. A., & Akl, E. A. (2020). Practice guidelines on migrants’ health: assessment of their quality and reporting. Health and quality of life outcomes, 18, 1-13.
- Pottie, K., Lotfi, T., Kilzar, L., Howeiss, P., Rizk, N., Akl, E.A., Dias, S., Biggs, B.A., Christensen, R., Rahman, P., Magwood, O., Tran, A., Rowbotham, N., Pharris, A., Noori, T., Pareek, M., Morton, R. (2018). The Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Screening for HIV in Migrants in the EU/EEA: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9;15 (8).
- Bartels, S. A., Michael, S., Roupetz, S., Garbern, S., Kilzar, L., Bergquist, H., Bakhache, N., Davison, C., & Bunting, A. (2018). Making sense of child, early and forced marriage among Syrian refugee girls: a mixed methods study in Lebanon. BMJ Global Health, 3(1), e000509.