Category Archives: Lebanon

How FAID keeps educating its students

FAID, the school for deaf children we support, keeps up its important mission even in these difficult times

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, FAID sent the students home in early March, but remained open. Initiatives such as the outreach program for refugees had to be suspended or postponed – but the teachers would prepare classes and homework for the students, and ask the parents to collect the material at the school. As the situation worsened, the school was forced to close entirely. This pushed the teachers to tap their creativity & available technology, and start to deliver classes and homework to the children via Facebook private groups.

Also, with the collaboration of the Ministry of Information, FAID created a short video for Lebanon’s deaf people, explaining the dangers of Coronavirus and the precautions to take.

FAID helps their students’ families

FAID, the school for deaf children we support since 2008, helps their students’ families during this unprecedented crisis

In October 2019, an unprecedented economic crisis in Lebanon caused wide unemployment and a 60% devaluation of the Lebanese currency. As Lebanon relies on imports, prices have more than doubled, and many people find it challenging to buy even basic food items. Coupled with the instability of neighbouring Syria’s 10-year war and the coronavirus crisis, this situation has pushed the country to its knees.

FAID, the school for the deaf we support, helps the most impoverished families among their students. With the help of a NGO, they prepared food parcels and distributed disinfectants to those in need.

What we did in 2019

 

What we did in 2019

Download 2019 report

(tablets and smartphones: best viewed in landscape mode)

Dear friends and supporters,

despite the volatile situation in Lebanon, due to continued protests against mismanagement of public money and corruption, in November 2019 we went to Lebanon to visit the Institutions that we support thanks to your donations. They are: the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID), two kindergartens for refugee children, and the Home of Home, for orphans and street children.

This was our 12th consecutive visit to FAID, School for the Deaf in Beirut, which teaches about 80 children, Christian and Muslim alike, and refugees from Syria; many receive full boarding during the week. We restored and repainted the room for vocational teaching, where the children will be taught the art of hairdressing. We also did much maintenance to the school building, fixed and installed a door for the clinic and cleaned up the garden.

Towards the end of our stay, all the pupils gathered in the school’s courtyard to celebrate (and eat sweets).

Thank to your support, we were able to

  • donate 8000 dollars towards speech therapy, so that the deaf children can learn to speak and lip-read, necessary skills to become independent and support themselves;
  • donate 2000 dollars to buy heating oil for the classrooms (winters are cold in Lebanon!)
  • buy equipment and materials for the work we did

We also visited the Home of Hope, an institution for orphaned and street children. They are now creating a vocational training programme, to make sure that the children can leave the institute equipped with professional and life skills, to become independent and build their own future.

We were able to donate 3000 dollars towards this programme, on behalf of our generous donors. We also brought sport equipment and clothes, thanks to O’Neills House of Sports in Dublin.

We went back to the refugee kindergartens in the camps of Shatila in Beirut and Burj elShemali in the ancient city of Tyre in the South of the country. Despite the poverty and squalor surrounding them, these kindergartens are oases of gaiety and serenity, painted in bright colours and spotlessly clean. The children, aged 3-5, play and learn how to read and write in Arabic and English. The staff are very resourceful and super-motivated. As always, they welcomed us with great hospitality and a veritable feast of Palestinian delicacies.

Thank to your generosity, we were able to donate 3000 dollars to each kindergarten towards teaching material for the children and maintenance of the buildings.

Finances

Income: donations to Lebanon Trust (Euro)

Fundraising events 1555.00
Private donations, collection boxes, sponsorship cards 9219.02
Corporate sponsorships 8515.92
Total 19289.94

(Year close Nov 30, 2019; EUR/USD/CHF currency exchange rate: as applied by our bank in Ireland)

Expenditure: Donations to the supported institutions, expenses (Euro)

Web hosting & domains, Paypal/banking commissions
178.15
Hardware & materials, transport, logistics, local labour 1191.21
Donation to FAID 9243.85
Donation to the Home of Hope 2773.15
Donation to Shatila refugee kindergarten 2773.15
Donation to Burj el Shemali refugee kindergarten 2773.15
Total 18932.66
Difference 357.28

Our volunteers displayed a great imagination in devising ways to raise funds: Christmas swims, street collections, raffles, cake sales, quiz nights, office collections, etc.

Our special thanks to the friends who helped this year:

• Mick Halpin & family (Dublin & USA), for their fantastic, generous & constant support
• All colleagues at Symantec (Dublin)
• Paul’s Barber Shop, Crumlin (Dublin)
• Anna Galli (Genoa, Italy)
• Geraldine McGrath (Dublin), for her amazing cakes!
• McCormack’s Cycle Centre (Dublin)
• O’Neill’s House of Sport (Dublin)
• Paul Reid Dental Laboratories (Dublin)
• Gerard Kelly, Kelly’s Welding & Engineering Supplies Ltd (Dublin)
• Pat Stafford of Stafford Engineering (Dublin)
• A. Bertolotto & MC Ferraro (Genoa, Italy)
• Martina Merkle (Zurich, Switzerland)
• Big Mick & all the lads at Farleng Engineering (Dublin)
• Ole Vossnack (Zurich, Switzerland)
• Fam. Liverini-Swanström (Zurich, CH)
• Fam. Delfante-Cocurullo (Genoa, Italy)
• Anna Dal Negro & fam. (Zurich, CH)
• Giovanni Zappavigna & fam. (Massa, I)
• Elena Prola-Smith & fam. (London, UK)
• Fam. Bertolotto-DellaPenna (Genoa, Italy)
• Milda Cocurullo & fam. (Genoa, Italy)
• Enrico & Lilli Bertolotto (Genoa, Italy)
• Fam. Parodi (Genoa, Italy)
• Fam. Devia (Genoa, Italy)
• The Silicon Valley Community Foundation (USA)
• The Symantec Foundation (USA)
• St Peregrines GAA Club (Dublin), for their ongoing support over the years
• Patricia Meade (USA), for her generosity
• Kelly’s Welding & Engineering (Dublin)
• The Terence Welding Company (Dublin)
• ProWeld (Dublin)
• Brenden & staff di Lilliput Stores (Dublin)
• Dolphin Furniture Sales (Dublin)
• Lufthansa Airlines
• ChAir Airlines
• Advanced Car Rental (Beirut)
• All the generous Walkinstown friends in St Peter’s Crescent and St Peter’s Drive for their constant support
• Carla & Natale Ferraro (Genoa, Italy)
• G. Margotti & S. Falaschini (Livorno, Italy)
• Fam. Fasciolo (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
• Fam. Pellegrini (Genoa, Italy)
• Fam. Aquini (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
• Fam. Ricci (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
• Fam. Vigna-Mori (Savona, Italy)
• Fabio Minotti (Lentate sul Seveso, Italy)
• Catherine e Adrian Ruf (Zurich, CH)
• Chaithra Vishnu (India)
• Community Foundation of Collier County, Florida (USA)

Visit to the Burj el-Shemali refugee kindergarten

Our visit to the Burj el-Shemali refugee kindergarten (November 2019)

Like every year, we visited the kindergarten of the refugee camp of Burj el-Shemali in Tyre, in the South of Lebanon.  Despite its sourroundings, the kindergarten is an oasis of calm, with clean and brighlty-painted rooms where the children (aged 3 to 5) play and learn to read and write in Arabic and English.

The excellent and super-motivated teaching staff welcomed our visit and, at the end, offered us a wonderful lunch, a veritable Palestinia-style feast.

Thanks to our supporters, we could donate them USD 3000 for teaching material for the children.

 

The Home of Hope Lebanon

Our visit to the Home of Hope (November 2019)

We visited the Home of Hope, an orphanage that welcomes street and orphaned children. They are setting up vocational training to teach them useful skills, become independent and build their future.

We donated them USD 3000 towards their teaching programmes. Thank you all for your generosity, which enables us to support these worthy causes!

Lebanon Trust’s volunteers’ work at FAID

Our volunteers’ work at FAID (November 2019)

 

    

 

This was our volunteer’s 12th consecutive visit to FAID, School for the Deaf, in Beirut.

We painted and renovated the Vocational Training room, where FAID’s children will be trained to become hairdressers; did many maintenance tasks at the school; cleaned up the garden and fixed and re-installed the clinic door.

At the end of our stay, we all shared chocolates & cheers with the all the children.

Thanks to our donors, we were able to help the school with

– USD 8000 for the speech therapy,
– USD 2000 for heating fuel
– and we financed the renovation work that we carried out

We look forward to next year’s visit!

Visit to the Shatila refugee camp, Nov 2019

Visit to the kindergarten of the Shatila refugee camp (November 2019)

The Shatila camp hosts more than 10 thousand people on a surface on approximately 1 square kilometre, an exceptionally high population density. Conditions are really very difficult.

Schooling is provided by the United Nations, except for kindergartens. We at Lebanon Trust support a kindergarten run by our partner Association Najdeh.

Like every year, we visited this kindergarten, and – like every year – we experienced the joy of seeing the teachers, exceptionally motivated and resourceful, and meeting the children, aged between 3 and 5. They sang for us (in English!) and were enchanted by soap bubbles.

Thanks to our supporters, we were able to donate USD 3000 to them, towards improvements to the building and the purchase of teaching materials.

Volunteers in Lebanon, 2019

Despite the volatile situation, our volunteers went to Lebanon last month (Nov 2019)

     

Widespread, non-sectarian protests have been taking place in Lebanon without interruption since October 17, 2019. The protests are motivated by the government’s failure to provide basic services (such as electricity, drinking water, garbage collection) and find solutions to an economic crisis that has been looming for quite some time, because of corruption and waste of public money. These protests cause some disruptions – such as blocked roads – and the banks, when they are open, limit withdrawals.

Despite the possible volatility of the situation, our volunteers travelled to Lebanon for their annual working visit.

(pictures: from Wikipedia)

Lebanon Trust volunteers on their 2019 mission

Lebanon Trust volunteers on their 2019 mission

Once again, Lebanon Trust’s volunteers are heading to Lebanon. For two weeks in November, they will visit FAID School for the Deaf, the Association Najdeh‘s refugee kindergartens, and the institute for orphaned and street children Home of Hope Lebanon, doing practical work and delivering financial support, thanks to our friends and donors!

A huge THANK YOU to all the generous people who helped us this year!

May 2019: news from FAID

May 2019: news from FAID

Download FAID's news

FAID’s latest newletter contains updates and many news about their activities with the children:

– Lebanon’s Independence Day celebrated at the Presidential palace with the President and the First Lady

– The First Lady, Ms Nadia Aoun, hosted the launch of FAID’s campaign for early intervention of hard-of-hearing children, with the support of 10 NGOs

– The children were delighted and immensely proud to celebrate the National Flag Day with the Lebanse Army, whose troops hoisted the flag at FAID and whose orchestra played military music

– A vocational training on basic agricolture and food production took place at FAID

– Two special classes were created to meet the needs of students who joined FAID at a relatively late age without previous education

– FAID is piloting an “outreach program” in the settlements of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. It concentrates on educating parents to communicated with and helping their deaf children

– and many other news.

Lebanon Trust features promimently in the newsletter, with many pictures and a description of the work we did at FAID last year: the renovation of the Computer Room and the Earmould Laboratory, scraping and painting walls, windows, railings and doors, replacing the old carpet with a new one; painting and maintenance work on girls’ dormitory playground that we built in 2016, and  a complete clearance of the overgrowth in the garden. Also, we provided a 30-metre net for the playground, to allow the children to play safely and not lose their footballs.

A new life and hope for deaf kids at FAID

A new life, and hope for the future, for deaf refugee children in Lebanon, thanks to FAID and UNHCR

FAID, the school for deaf children that we help since 2008, hosts 24 Syrian refugees, all deaf. Here they receive an education, are assisted by speech therapists, and – most of all – find a new life and hope for the future. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) supports these children at FAID, as FAID’s Gladys explains in this video. Also, specialists and volunteers from FAID bring their invaluable help to Syrian refugee settlements, thus reaching deaf children who otherwise would not be helped at all. Enjoy the video!

The Irish Examiner: an article about FAID, the Home of Hope and refugee camps that we support

The Irish Examiner: an article about FAID, the Home of Hope and refugee camps that we support

(Credit: Irish Examiner)

A new article on the Irish Examiner, by journalist Victoria White, describes the difficulties of refugee, homeless and special-needs children in Lebanon, with a special focus on The Home of Hope and FAID, that we have been supporting for many years. Ms White spoke with Grace of FAID and Brady of the Home of Hope during her trip to Lebanon earlier this year.