Through “Play” UNCG Lebanon Reinforces Team Building and Creativity
28 November 2022
The UN Communication Group in Lebanon holds its first-ever retreat to agree on a shared vision for communication.
“We’re here to build our team and trigger our creativity through serious play,” says the Director of United Nations Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC Beirut) Margo El-Helou at a retreat organized for the UN Communications Group in Lebanon (UNCG Lebanon) in her capacity as chair of this team.
The purpose of the retreat was to enhance team spirit among the communication experts of various UN agencies who are members of the UNCG, in addition to providing them a space to express themselves freely and know each other away from job formalities, and most importantly, to identify the UNCG priorities and objectives for 2023 under a shared vision.
“UNIC is playing an important role today because it is bringing UN communication specialists in Lebanon together to consolidate our joint communications and strengthen our voice,” says El Helou.
Playing Hard to Build a Team
In its bid to integrate play in strategic thinking, UNIC Beirut hired L3b company to organize a full day of play-based activities aimed at unlocking human and organizational potential for creativity and innovation.
UNCG members engaged in interactive play that allowed them to get to know each other away from job formalities; thus, fostering team building. “It is very important for us as colleagues to meet in person, communicate and share-knowledge to benefit from each other’s experiences and to bond because it would definitely improve the work we present to the audiences of UN in Lebanon,” says Senior Communications and Media Officer at UNDP in Lebanon Rana Moughabghab.
“When we discover that the challenges we face are common among communication specialists at various UN agencies, it becomes easier for us to face these challenges because at the end of the day, our concerns are mutual,” says Bechara Maroun, Media and Communication Officer at UNESCO Regional Bureau.
Developing a Shared Vision Through Drama
The retreat was also an excellent opportunity for UNCG to develop a shared vision and identify the priorities for next year. Using narrative and dramatic play, the team was able to reflect on current realities, identify challenges, explore possibilities, and chart a path of collaboration moving forward as a group. “The importance of this retreat is that it brought us together to discuss our vision and think more strategically about our role in order to strengthen our joint communication as one UN in Lebanon,” says the Communications and Advocacy Specialist at UN Women in Lebanon, Roula Rached.
Putting Faces to the Names
The event represented an opportunity for the members to finally reconnect in person after working remotely for around three years due to COVID-19 and other crises that exacerbated the challenges faced by the UN in Lebanon.
“The added value of this activity lies in the fact that after all of these years and what’s happening with COVID-19 and Cholera, we’re here together to improve internal communication among UNCG members,” says Communication and Visibility Coordinator at UNODC in Lebanon, Mira Kobeissi.
For her part, the Communication and Digital Media Assistant at UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Melissa Greck adds: “We missed human interaction over the past years, and I wish that such activities are replicated more frequently.”
Watch this wrap-up Video of the retreat.
UN entities involved in this initiative
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations Information Centre
United Nations Children’s Fund
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon