Category Archives: Lebanon

What we did in 2018

Lebanon Trust’s 2018 results

Download 2018 report

Lebanon Trust’s volunteers with Grace, FAID’s director. We donated them 8000 dollars for their deaf pupils’ speech theraphy.

(tablets and smartphones: best viewed in landscape mode)

Dear friends,

in October this year we went to Lebanon to visit the Institutions we support through your generosity: the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID), two kindergartens for refugees and the Home of Hope, for street and orphaned children.

For the 11th year in a row, we worked at FAID, where we renovated the students’ Computer Room and the Earmould Laboratory. Removing all the furniture and equipment, scraping and painting walls, windows, railings and doors, replacing the old carpet with a new one, moving the furniture back – we did it all over the course of several days and a weekend, in order not to disrupt the teaching schedule too much.

We also did painting and maintenance work on girls’ dormitory playground that we built in 2016, and did a complete clearance of the overgrowth in the garden.

We donated FAID 8000 dollars to finance a speech therapist for their nearly 70 deaf pupils, ranging from kindergarten pupils to teenagers. Speech therapy teaches deaf people how to speak and lip-read, allowing them to communicate with the wider world and equipping them for a productive future.

This year our team got a great new addition: Emma, from Como in Italy, a tireless worker and always in good spirits. A perfect volunteer!





This year we returned to the Home of Hope, an instute that welcomes street children and children with no family. With their Education Director Brady, we visited their place, talked to many of the children and gave them a donation of 2000 dollars for their computer class, where they learn programming and robotics. We also gave them many footballs, donated by O’Neills sport in Dublin.

One day during our trip we went to visit the kindergarten of the refugee camp of Shatila, as we have been doing every year since 2011. We love this place – despite its really bleak surroundings (a dilapidated and overcrowded refugee camp), the kindergarten is full of joy, colours, laughter and songs. The teachers are all super-motvated and full of energy. The children, aged 3 to 5, learn to read and write in Arabic and English. The classrooms are full of drawings; we added great clouds of soap bubbles, which the children adore.

On behalf of our donors, we gave the kindergarten’s director Mariam a donation of USD 2000 towards the purchase of books and material for those children whose families cannot afford them. Thank you friends and supporters!

One of our regular appointments when we are in Lebanon is the visit to the kindergarten of the refugee camp di Burj el-Shemali, in the historic city of Tyre, in the south of the country. We very much look forward to this, every time. It is a great day that we spend with the children and the teachers. They are all very warm and welcoming, always enthusiastic, motivated and full of ideas and projects.

We all sang songs in English, blew soap bubbles, ate sweets and made a lot of noise. On behalf of our supporters, we left a much-needed donation of 2000 dollars in support of the kindergarten’s activities. After the children left, the teachers surprised us with a huge Palestinian lunch, which was really delicious! Thank you!

Finances

Income: Donations to Lebanon Trust (Euro)

Fundraising events 3’589.61
Private donations, collection boxes, sponsorship cards 10’658.50
Corporate sponsorships 1’170.19
Total 15’418.30

(Year close Nov 30, 2018; 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
121.15
Hardware & materials, transport, logistics, local labour 1795.23
Donation to FAID 7’120.00
Donation to the Home of Hope 1’780.00
Donation to Shatila refugee kindergarten 1’780.00
Donation to Burj el Shemali refugee kindergarten 1’780.00
Total 14’376.38
Difference 1’041.92

Accommodation was kindly provided by FAID for free. Most volunteers took unpaid leave from their employers.

Fundraising events organised by the volunteers over the year: Christmas swim, street collections, weekly raffles, cake sales, quiz night, birthday parties, virtual flea market, bucket collections.

Our special thanks to these friends, who helped us this year:

  • All the employees of Symantec Corporation in Dublin, and in particular the following friends:
    • Mick Halpin
    • Amanda Davis
    • David Tryse
    • Jayne Delahunt
    • Julie Weber
    • Louise Hanlon
    • Stephanie Derwojed
    • Wolfram Rausch
  • Jung Y. Yang e Stephen King, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Paul Velaski, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Jaime Barclay, Symantec Corporation
  • Davide Keane (Dublin)
  • Elaine Curley (Dublin)
  • The David & Kathleen Halpin Fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County in Naples, Florida
  • Kathleen Halpin (Dublin)
  • Kieran Mc Loughlin & GK Nets of Howth
  • O’Neills Irish International Sports Company Ltd. (Dublin)
  • Dolphin Furniture Sales Ltd. (Dublin)
  • Staff, Committee and customers at St Peregrines GAA Club, Blanchardstown (Dublin)
  • Mountview Pharmacy (Dublin)
  • Cut N Style Mountview Hairdressers (Dublin)
  • Salmons Public House, Mountview (Dublin)
  • Caroline, of EUROSPAR Hartstown (Dublin)
  • Big Mick & all the lads in Farleng engineering (Dublin)
  • Farleng Engineering (Dublin)
  • Pat Stafford of Stafford Engineering (Dublin)
  • All the lads on the John Paul construction site on the River Liffey (Dublin)
  • The very generous people of St. Peter’s Crescent and St Peter’s Drive, Walkinstown (Dublin)
  • All the staff & workers at the Diageo site at the Old Power Station in St James Gate (Dublin)
  • Walls Engineering, Carlow, Ireland
  • Griffin Digital Print (Dublin)
  • McCormack’s Cycle Centre (Dublin)
  • Eddy McHugh’s Shop (Dublin)
  • Paul Reid Dental Laboratories (Dublin)
  • Kelly’s Welding & Engineering Supplies Ltd (Dublin)
  • Gerard Kelly (Dublin)
  • Brenden Lilliput stores (Dublin)
  • and the many people who sponsored Paul Horace on the sponsor card, and the people he met while working on a wall building site in Dublin
  • British Airways
  • Air Lingus
  • Germania Airlines
  • Advanced Car Rental (Beirut)
  • Maria Pia Porta (Genova, Italy)
  • Martina Merkle (Zurich, CH)
  • Catherine & Adrian Poeydomenge-Ruf (Zurich, CH)
  • Patricia Meade (USA)
  • Cristina Ovas (UK)
  • Maria Chong (Messico)
  • Chaithra Vishnu (India)
  • Donel Flaherty (Tralee)
  • Adrian Kelly (Tralee)
  • Eddie McCarthy (Caherslee, Tralee)
  • Anthony Slattery & family (Listellick, Tralee)
  • Samantha Morressy of Bar One (Tralee)
  • Kiernan Donnehy (Tralee)
  • Dave, Aisling, Alex (Tralee)
  • Stacey Conway (Tralee)
  • Karen O’Brien (Tralee)
  • Francis Burke (Tralee)
  • Ed O’Connor (Tralee)
  • Dominick O’Brian (Tralee)
  • Pat Conway (Tralee)
  • Anto Carrol (Tralee)
  • Mike Conway, Jr (Tralee)
  • Adam Conway (Tralee)
  • Clodagh Lynch (Tralee)
  • Pat Francis Roche & family (Tralee)
  • Tommy Naughton (Tralee)
  • All street collectors in Tralee
  • Tim O’Brien (Tralee)
  • Sean P. Moran
  • Noel O’Connor, Adams garage (Tralee)
  • Sean Lynch (Tralee)
  • Sean McCord, Aqua Dome (Tralee)
  • Brogue Inn Restaurant (Tralee)
  • Niall Nolan of Nolan’s Garage (Tralee)
  • Ann Miller (Tralee)
  • Chelsey Conway (Tralee)
  • Billy Nolan Jewellers (Tralee)
  • Mike & Jordan Shea (Tralee)
  • Aidan Teahan (Tralee)
  • Pamela & Keith Costello (Tralee)
  • Maria Cristina Ferraro (Genova, Italy)
  • Alessandro Bertolotto (Genova, Italy)
  • Ole Vossnack (Zurich, CH)
  • Famiglia Vigna-Mori (Savona, Italy)
  • Carla & Natale Ferraro (Genova, Italy)
  • Checco Devia & famiglia (Genova, Italy)
  • Elena Prola-Smith & famiglia (Londra)
  • Enrico & Lilli Bertolotto (Genova, Italy)
  • Family Delfante-Cocurullo (Genova, Italy)
  • Family Parodi (Genova, Italy)
  • Family Fasciolo (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Giovanna Pellegrini & family (Genova, Italy)
  • Family Zappavigna (Marina di Massa, Italy)
  • Family Aquini (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Nino & Milda Cocurullo (Genova, Italy)
  • Family Della Penna (Genova, Italy)
  • Family Renato Ricci (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Silvana Falaschini, Giorgio Margotti (Livorno, Italy)

Visit to the refugee camp of Burj el-Shemali

Lebanon Trust visited a refugee kindergarten in the south of Lebanon

One of our regular appointments when we are in Lebanon is the visit to the kindergarten of the refugee camp di Burj el-Shemali, in the city of Tyre, in the south of the country.  We very much look forward to this, every time. It is a great day that we spend with the children and the teachers. They are all very warm and welcoming, always enthusiastic, motivated and full of ideas and projects.

We all sang songs in English, blew soap bubbles, ate sweets and made a lot of noise. On behalf of our supporters, we left a much-needed donation of 2000 dollars in support of the kindergarten’s activities.  After the children left, the teachers surprised us with a huge Palestinian lunch, which was really delicious! Thank you!

The Shatila refugee camp

Visit and donation to the kindergarten of the refugee camp of Shatila in Beirut

 

One day during our trip we went to visit the kindergarten of the refugee camp of Shatila, as we have been doing every year since 2011.  We love this place – despite its really bleak surroundings (a dilapidated and overcrowded refugee camp), the kindergarten is full of joy, colours, laughter and songs. The teachers are all super-motvated and full of energy. The children, aged 3 to 5, learn to read and write in Arabic and English. The classrooms are full of drawings; we added great clouds of soap bubbles, which the children adore.

On behalf of our donors, we gave the kindergarten’s director Mariam a donation of USD 2000 towards the purchase of books and material for those children whose families cannot afford them. Thank you friends and supporters!

A donation to FAID

Lebanon Trust’s donation to FAID to support speech therapy for the deaf children

Speech therapy teaches deaf people how to speak and lip-read, allowing them to communicate with the wider world and equipping them for a productive future. On behalf of our donors and supporters, we donated 8000 dollars to finance a speech therapist for the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf, which educates nearly 70 deaf children, ranging from kindergarten pupils to teenagers.

Visit to the Home of Hope

A visit and a donation to the Home of Hope

Last week we went to the Home of Hope, an instute that welcomes street children and children with no family. With their Education Director Brady, we visited their place, talked to many of the children and gave them a donation of 2000 dollars for their computer class, where they learn programming and robotics. We also gave them many footballs, donated by O’Neills sport in Dublin.

2018 – work at FAID

Lebanon Trust’s volunteers worked at FAID

 

For the 11th year in a row, the volunteers of Lebanon Trust went to The Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID), where they renovated the students’ Computer Room and the Earmould Laboratory. Removing all the furniture and equipment, scraping and painting walls, windows, railings and doors, replacing the old carpet with a new one, moving the furniture back – our A-team did it all over the course of several days and a weekend, in order not to disrupt the teaching schedule too much.  We also did painting and maintenance work on girls’  dormitory playground  that we built in 2016, and did a complete clearance of the overgrowth in the garden.

The volunteers are back from Lebanon

The volunteers are back from Lebanon!

We have just returned from Lebanon: six volunteers from three countries spent two weeks in Lebanon, working at The Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf, and visiting and delivering donations also to two kindergartens for refugee children and an institute for street and orphaned children.

Time went fast and the trip was very intense, but we are proud of what we achieved on behalf of our donors and supporters. Thank you all!

Our volunteers are heading to Lebanon

Once again, our volunteers are heading to Lebanon

This month, an international group of six Lebanon Trusters will fly to Beirut for the charity’s  annual trip to visit the institutions we support financially, and to do practical work. As every year, we will stay at the Father Institute for the Deaf in the outskirts of Beirut, and do maintenance work there. We will also visit their outreach program in the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon, where hundreds of thousands Syrian refugee live.

As we have been doing for several years now, we will also visit two kindergartens for refugee children, run by our partner Association Najdeh.  We plan to visit the orphanage Home of Hope as well, which we got to know & supported last year for the first time.

We all look forward to being in Lebanon! Many hearfelt thanks to all the friends who donated and help our charitable projects.

 

FAID newsletter

An update on FAID’s activities

Have a look at the newsletter of the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID) in Beirut, which we support since 2008  (in pdf format).

Download FAID's newsletter

FAID’s outreach programme for refugees

FAID reaches deaf refugees in the mountains of Lebanon

Currently, the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID) in Beirut welcomes about 20 deaf Syrian refugee children. This is as much as they can handle, because getting financial support for Syrian students is extremely difficult. Yet, the need is huge, as Lebanon has taken in about 1 million refugees from Syria.

This is the reason why FAID has created a different, innovative approach to this problem. It is called “Outreach Program” and consists of having 2 special education professionals going regularly to the Zahle region in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, where most refugees are. They will provide hearing aids, speech therapy and education, most importantly working with the parents of the deaf children. A special program has been devised to teach parents how to best support their children.

The program is scheduled to start in September 2018, and it will run in collaboration with Salam, which we at Lebanon Trust visited last year.

A visit by the United Nations – meet Mohammed, a brilliant 7-year old student at FAID

A visit by the United Nations – meet Mohammed, a brilliant 7-year old student at FAID

(© UNHCR/Diego Ibarra Sánchez)

The United Nations agency for refugees and its High Commissioner Filippo Grandi went to FAID, the school for deaf children that we help since 2008. The star of this wonderful video is Mohammad, aged 7 and born at the very beginning of the Syria war. Mohammad is from Syria and he is a refugee; he lost his left hand when his house was shelled in 2014. Now he and his family live in Beirut. He is deaf and atttends FAID, where he is a very good and very diligent student.

Our work in 2017

Our work in 2017

(tablets and smartphones: best viewed in landscape mode)

Dear friends,

2017 was a very productive year for Lebanon Trust. Thanks to your generosity, not only did we help the school for deaf children we have been supporting for ten years now, and the two refugee kindergarten we always help, but also we visited and donated to an institute for street, orphaned or abused children. We also met with a school for deaf teenagers – which prepares them for university – and a Lebanese non-governmental organisation that works with Syrian refugees and poor Lebanese.

The two weeks we spent in Lebanon in November were very intense. We stayed at the deaf children’s school that we support, the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID).

We donated them 8000 dollars to help financing speech therapy, which teaches deaf children how to speak and lip-read. this gives them an unique opportunity to communicate with the outside world and, in time, become independent.

We had a very generous sponsor, Tiziana Virgilio from Genoa (Italy), who financed the complete renovation of FAID’s kindergarten playground. We made a new reinforced-concrete floor, covered it with 400 rubber safety tiles, installed a new perimeter fence, fixed the existing toys, bought new ones, painted and decorated gates, walls and handrails. Also, we pruned a tree and removed a large wild overgrowth that blocked the light. We also fixed and painted the adjacent “mock shop”, utilised to teach children grocery-shopping.

The children and the teachers were absolutely delighted. At the end of all this work we had an opening ceremony with ribbon-cutting, sweets and soap bubbles. Every volunteer received a beautiful present from FAID. The new playground was dedicated to the memory of a friend, Francesco Lo Torto, with a plaque on the wall.

Besides all this, a generous Irish sponsor, GK Nets of Howth, donated a marvellous net (80 metres by 4 metres!) for the new football area used by the older kids. We brought it all the way from Ireland to Lebanon for free, thanks to British Airway’s generosity!

The plaque on the playground wall, in dedication to the memory of a friend.

We work in good spirits to remove the and clean the 400 existing rubber tiles

The old fence, part of the playground, with rusting barbed wire and plenty of overgrowth

The area of the playground in now ready for renovation

The iron rods are put in place for the reinforced concrete

The cement mixer and the crane-pump came at night, and started work right away

The making of the cement floor

The new floor is ready and smooth

A reason for celebration

As soon as the cement was solid, we started working right away making the new fence, installing the the rubber tiles for the safety floors, painting the gate and the handrails, fixing the existing toys and procuring the new ones, and all the rest

A bit of decoration: arabic and western numbers being painted here

The new playground is ready

The new playground waits for the children – it will be a big surprise!

The ribbon-cutting ceremony! Children and teachers are delighted

Our chairman Christy presents FAID’s Grace with a donation of 8000 dollars for financing the speech therapist

One of the children is Amir, a deaf Syrian refugee who has no family. During the week he stays at FAID, and spends the weekends at the Home of Hope. The Home of Home provides housing, accommodation, meals, clothes, education and care to children who have no parents or have been abandoned or abused. We went to visit it on a Friday evening: Amir was absolutely delighted to see us there, and kept trying to tell the other children that we were his friends and were there to see him. We were welcomed by Rachida and Brady, who run the institution together with other staff and volunteers. We were impressed by their dedication and their work. A few days later we realised that we still had a bit of money, so we went shopping with Brady and bought 100 pairs of shoes (“crocs”-like) and much underwear for the children, for a total of 350 dollars. We also donated some footballs from a generous sponsor in Ireland. The kids were overjoyed. They have very little.

Our volunteers and Home of Hope’s Brady with one of the kids seen here next to the shoes, underwear, footballls donated on behalf of our generous supporters

Beirut’s Armenian quarter, where we went shopping for shoes

Two residents of the Armenian quarter

In Lebanon there are literally millions of refugees, both long-term ones from the wars in 1948 and 1967 (between 500’000 and 600’00 of them), and an estimated 1.5 million more recent arrivals from the war in Syria. We went to visit the kindergartens of two refugee camps, run by our partner Association Najdeh, one in Beirut and one in Tyre, in the south of Lebanon. These two kindergartens are cheerful and spotless, despite the surrounding dire conditions. The staff are fantastic, motivated and resourceful, and make the most of the little they have. The children are delightful, and – at age 3 to 5 – learn Arabic and English. We donated 2000 dollars to each kindergaten.

One evening we went to visit The Learning Center for the Deaf (LCD), founded and run by Hussein, son of the late Father Andeweg who created FAID, and his wife Nadine. LCD runs an early-intervention centre, for deaf babies and their parents, a nursery school and the preparatory three-year schooling for university. Its services are complementary to FAID. It is very well organised and superbly run. Congratulations to the two visionary founders.

Our volunteers with Hussein and Nadine, the founders of The Learning Center for the Deaf in Baadba, Beirut

One day we went to the Beqaa valley, which borders Syria, to meet with LADC-Salam, a Lebanese non-governmental organisation. Its aim is to provide flexible, effective and non-bureaucratic assistance, which fills the gaps where refugees and local communities do not receive sufficient support, in light of the overwhelming need created by the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon. They run many important project and a community centre with after-school for children and courses for adults. Many Syrian refugee children do not attend school. A bus fitted as a “mobile school” reaches children in the refugee settlements and brings them up to speed so that they can enrol in the public school system. We met the founders Joseph and Martin, and the medical coordinator Laran. They also have many young volunteers who spends weeks or months helping out the various projects – people from all over the world, driven by the same idea. Meeting them was very inspiring, and we hope that one day we can collaborate.

Thank you Arquata friends

Thank you to all friends in Arquata Scrivia

We would like to thank all Marina’s friends in Arquata Scrivia (Italy, who contributed generously towards our charitable projects in Lebanon. Your altruism allowed us to do much good work and donate money to very worthy causes in Lebanon, all related to disadvantaged children: deaf kids, refugees, street children and orphans. All these stories and pictures are on this blog.

Thank you Arquata!

 

Lebanon Trust went to visit the Learning Center for the Deaf in Baabda, Beirut

Lebanon Trust went to visit the Learning Center for the Deaf in Baabda, Beirut

During our recent stay in Lebanon, we paid a visit to  The Learning Center for the Deaf, welcomed by the truly visionary founders Hussein and Nadine. Hussein is the late Father Andeweg’s son. (Father Andeweg was the founder of FAID, the school we have been supporting for 10 years now). The Learning Center for the Deaf is complementary to FAID – it runs an early-intervention programme for deaf babies and their families, and the three years of preparatory  schooling for those who wish to attend university.

Splendidly-run school, Father Andeweg must be proud!