Humanitarian Community Life (HCL)

HCL Overview

Launched in mid 2021, Humanitarian Community Life (HCL) began as an online community initiative focused on building emotional support and life-skill capacity for people in Syria, with emphasis on youth and workers in the humanitarian field.

We then expanded into conducting remote trainings for humanitarian workers and youth in Yemen. Further expansion is in development.

The International Forum for Understanding sponsors HCL with the lead cooperation partner.

HCL: Phase 1

We created hundreds of social media posts (in Arabic) on specific skills for
disaster and recovery periods, including

    • Emotional Skills: dealing with stress, loneliness, waiting, failure, loss
    • Life Skills: building self-knowledge, self-esteem, problem solving
    • Technical Skills for humanitarian workers

These posts are being shared on a dedicated HCL Facebook page.

HCL: Phase 2

In cooperation with local institutions and organizations in Yemen, HCL
designed an intensive remote training program (in Arabic) for disaster
and recovery periods.

In honor of World Humanitarian Day, HCL rolled out this initiative in late
2022. Emphasis on: Emotional Skills, Life Skills, and Technical Skills.

The pilot project specifically aimed at benefiting humanitarian workers and
youth in Yemen.

HCL: Phase 3

To facilitate scaling, HCL is expanding its training program to other geographical and topic areas while creating an array of multimedia offerings accessible to those in last-mile settings.

In the spirit of Sustainable Development Goal 17, HCL is pursuing partnerships for strategic implementation.

HCL Project Team

Layla Barakeh is a humanitarian worker and disaster-management specialist based in Syria. She specializes in mental health and psychosocial support and livelihood training. Layla is the Director of Humanitarian Community Life and has designed its training program and related material.

Heather Wokusch and Les Simm serve as active mentors for HCL.


Humanitarian Community Life (HCL) aims to support people in Syria – including humanitarian workers – in disaster and recovery periods on

  • the emotional level: dealing with issues such as stress, loneliness, waiting, failure, and loss
  • the life-skill level: developing skills such as self-knowledge, self-esteem, the art of thinking, and problem solving

Visit Humanitarian Community Life on Facebook!

In cooperation with