Category Archives: Uncategorized

Concert on Sunday June 16!

Sunday June 16th in Tralee: concert in St. John’s Parish

A Choir Concert in Tralee – come to listen to beautiful music and the finest voices of Ireland! St. John’s Churh Choir, Kerry Chamber Choir, Kerry School of Music Orchestra, with special solo performances.

A truly unforgettable evening – all proceeds in favour of Lebanon Trust’s charitable projects. Tickets EUR 10, at the door on the night.

 

What we did in 2023

 

Another year with Lebanon Trust: what we did in 2023

  Dear friends and supporters,

First of all, thank you so much for your continued support, not only from all the volunteers of our Charity but above all from the people in Lebanon we are trying to help.
This year we had organised a 2-week work trip to Beirut and to the South of Lebanon in late October. But then war erupted, and our flights were cancelled. This war is a calamity for the region and the country, and not being able to go is unfortunate for our Charity, as it is important for us to show our support directly. We hope very much that we can go in 2024.
Despite everything, we manage to send EUR 16’0000 in donations, equally split between FAID, the school for deaf children that we have been supporting since 2008, and Association Najdeh, working in Lebanon’s refugee camps. The funds are being used for the children’s food programme and for the school and kindergartens running costs, such as books.

  

Income: donations to Lebanon Trust (Euro) (Dec 1st, 2022 – Nov 30th, 2023)

Fundraising initiatives, private donations, corporate sponsorships
Total 10524.84

(Year close Nov 30, 2023; EUR/USD/CHF currency exchange rate: as applied by our bank in Ireland)

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

Bank and PayPal fees, web hosting & domains 188.06
Donation to FAID (school for the deaf) 7968.48
Donations to Association Najdeh (refugee camps) 8000.00
Total 16156.54
Difference -5631.70

Many generous people donated through Benevity, The Irish Online Giving Foundation and The UK Online Giving Foundation (thank you Mick!). Our friend Kevin Boyle in Tralee again organised a splendid choir concert in June in favour of Lebanon Trust’s projects. Thank you so much!

Many heartfelt thanks to the many generous friends who helped this year
(Dec 1st, 2022 – Nov 30th, 2023):

• Kevin Boyle and family (Tralee, Ireland) • St John’s Church Choir • Kerry Chamber Choir • Kerry School of Music, and the soloists, and everyone who helped on the night of the concert • Kathleen, Mick, Carmel Halpin & family (Dublin & USA) • the customers of St. Peregrines GAA Club • Anna Dal Negro Axel Sonnenfeld (Zurich, CH) • Ardfert Quarry Products Partnership • Amazon.com • Martina Merkle (Zurich, CH) • Patricia Meade (Ca., USA) • Luca Baur (Schwerzenbach, CH) • Ole Vossnack (Zurich, CH) • Catherine Poeydomenge (Zurich, CH) • Fam. Ricci (Arquata Scrivia, Italy) • Enrico & Lilli Bertolotto (Genoa, Italy) • MC Ferraro & A Bertolotto (Genoa, Italy) • Fam. Aquini (Arquata Scrivia, Italy) • Gabry e Felice Boiani, sigg. Fasciolo-Barnabè e gli amici di Montaldero (Arquata Scrivia, Italy) Giorgio Margotti (Livorno, Italy) • Silvana Falaschini (Livorno, Italy) • Fam Zappavigna (Marina di Massa, Italy) • Angela Vigna & Giulio Mori (Savona, Italy) • Jolanda Bianchi (Genoa, Italy) • Fam. Cocurullo (Genoa, Italy) • Fam. Devia (Genoa, Italy) • Fam Prola-Smith (London, UK) • B. Biondi (Zurich, CH) • Pat Stafford and Stafford Engineering (Dublin) • All the generous Walkinstown friends in St Peter’s Crescent and St Peter’s Drive for their constant support • Hoistech Engineering (Dublin)• Paul Reid Dental Laboratories (Dublin) • Big Mick (Dublin) • Brenden & staff at Lilliput Stores (Dublin) • Dolphin Furniture Sales (Dublin) • QK Living Kitchens & Bedrooms (Dublin) • Griffin Digital Print (Dublin) • The Terence Welding Company (Dublin) • The many people who sponsored Paul on the sponsor cards • and many other generous people who prefer to remain anonymous!

 

A generous donation to Najdeh

October 2023: Lebanon Trust sends a generous donation to Najdeh

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we have been able to send EUR 8000 to Association Najdeh, , to help two kindergartens they run in the refugee camps of Shatila in Beirut and Burj el-Shemali in Tyre (South Lebanon). At the moment we cannot go and visit them personally, but they are always in our hearts. See you soon, friends.

A generous donation to FAID

October 2023: Lebanon Trust sends a generous donation to FAID

Thank you so much, dear donors and supporters!  Your generosity allowed us to send EUR 8000 in support of FAID, the school for deaf children that we support since 2008.

We may not be able to visit them now, as our flights have been cancelled due to the current tense situation, but at least we can send some help from afar, to support FAID’s educational activities and the food programme for the boarding section. 92 children and their teachers are very grateful to you!

Thank you generous friends

Many heartfelt thanks to the many generous friends who helped this year (Dec 1st, 2021 – Nov 30th, 2022):

• Mick Halpin & family (Dublin & USA), for the constant great generosity • Anna Dal Negro Axel Sonnenfeld (Zurich, CH) • Amazon.com • Diederik Brasser (Hattem, NL) • Martina Merkle (Zurich, CH) • St John’s Church Choir Kerry Chamber Choir, Kerry School of Music, and the soloists • Ole Vossnack (Zurich, CH) • Kevin Boyle (Tralee, Ireland) • Patricia Meade (Ca., USA) • Luca Baur (Schwerzenbach, CH) • Pat Stafford and Stafford Engineering (Dublin) • Catherine Poeydomenge (Zurich, CH) • the customers of St. Peregrines GAA Club • Pat McDonnell Paints (Tralee, Ireland) • CBS Clounalour (Tralee, Ireland) • Cumann Iosaef Community Centre (Tralee) • Aidain Kelly Pensions (Tralee) • John & Shannon Zuzek • Philippe Goubet (Paris, France) • Helen Gordon • All the generous Walkinstown friends in St Peter’s Crescent and St Peter’s Drive for their constant support • McCormack’s Cycle Centre (Dublin) • Paul Reid Dental Laboratories (Dublin) • Gerard Kelly • All the lads at Bisset Engineering (Dublin) • All the girls and lads at Hoistech Engineering (Dublin) • M. McKeon manufacturing Ltd • Big Mick (Dublin) • Brenden & staff at Lilliput Stores (Dublin) • Dolphin Furniture Sales (Dublin) • QK Living Kitchens & Bedrooms (Dublin) • Griffin Digital Print (Dublin) • The Terence Welding Company (Dublin) • The many people who sponsored Paul on the sponsor cards • Fam Bertolotto-Della Penna (Genoa, Italy) • Fam. Ricci (Arquata Scrivia, Italy) • Enrico & Lilli Bertolotto (Genoa, Italy) • MC Ferraro & A Bertolotto (Genoa, Italy) • Fam. Aquini (Arquata Scrivia, Italy) • Saverio Vanella (Arquata Scrivia, Italy) • Giovanna Ferraro (Genoa, Italy) • Fam. Fasciolo-Barnabè (Arquata Scrivia, Italy) • Carla Massa (Genoa, Italy) • Anna Galli (Genoa, Italy) • Famiglia Cocurullo (Genoa, Italy) • Famiglia Devia (Genoa, Italy) • Iolanda Bianchi (Genoa, Italy) • Romilda Cocurullo (Genoa, Italy) • Giorgio Margotti (Livorno, Italy) • Silvana Falaschini (Livorno, Italy) • Enrico Pallavicini (Genoa, Italy) • Laura Bullio (Genoa, Italy) • Guido De Vecchi (Genoa, Italy) • G.G. Salerni (Genova, Italy) • Fam Zappavigna (Marina di Massa, Italy) • and many other generous people who prefer anonymity!

What we did in 2022

What we did in 2022

Dear friends,

This year, at last, we were able to travel to Lebanon, for first time since 2019. We have found a much-changed country, where the state has collapsed and people are left to fend for themselves. Services like electricity, sanitation, banking, etc., have essentially ceased. The government no longer subsidises bread, fuel, or medicine. The national currency is in free fall: most items have become unaffordable, including local produce, as fuel and fertiliser are imported. Traffic lights do not work, cities are dark and deserted at night, many shops have been forced to close. Millions of people have been pushed into poverty and had to cut back on essentials like food and medication.

Since banks are barely functioning and impose arbitrary and illegal limits on withdrawals, the only way to get money into the country and make sure it arrives to its recipients is to fly in with cash, which is what we did. In May and in November we brought a combined total of EUR 19260 in donations, split between FAID, the school for deaf children that we have been supporting since 2008, and Association Najdeh, working in Lebanon’s refugee camps.

FAID used the funds to

  • Buy fuel for school bus, generator and heaters: EUR 6000
  • Cover the food and fuel for the children’s summer camp, which took place on the school’s premises, and one outing: EUR 3600
  • Replace a water pump and some smaller items: EUR 260

 Najdeh used the funds to

  • Help cover the running costs of the kindergartens of the refugee camps of Shatila in Beirut and Burj el-Shemali in Tyre; this includes operational expenses such as staff salaries and children’s meals: EUR 3400
  • Buy schoolbooks for the children – of all refugee kindergartens in Lebanon – whose families cannot afford them: EUR 6000

Income: donations to Lebanon Trust (Euro) (Dec 1st, 2020 – Nov 30th, 2021)

Fundraising initiatives, private donations, corporate sponsorships
Total

18922.95

(Year close Nov 30, 2021; EUR/USD/CHF currency exchange rate: as applied by our bank in Ireland)

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

Bank and PayPal fees, web hosting & domains

193.30

Donation to FAID

9860.00

Donations to Association Najdeh (refugee camps)

9400.00

Total

19453.30

Difference

-530.35

 

 

Creativity and strangers’ kindness in time of crisis

Creativity and strangers’ kindness in time of crisis

Shown in this picture is the culmination of a relay race through 4 countries, 2 continents, 4 people, to deliver an important medicine to someone in need in Beirut.

This medicine was bought in Toulon (France) by a friend, arrived in Zurich (Switzerland) by train and was handed to one of our volunteers; it was then mailed to Geneva (Switzerland) to a kind stranger found on Twitter, then taken by him to Ferrara (Italy) and given to another stranger, who flew to Beirut and finally gave it to its recipient.

Given the dire economic conditions of Lebanon, many medicines cannot longer be found in the country (along with fuel, electricity, drinkable water, and many other necessities).

FAID’s 2022 Summer Camp

FAID’s 2022 Summer Camp




Last month FAID, the school for deaf children we have been supporting for 15 years now, ran a summer camp for its pupils. It was divided into two weeks, for the very young children and the older ones. It went very well!

The first week was attended by 18 children (from Lebanon and Syria), including from refugee families involved in FAID’s Outreach Program.

The second week saw 28 participants (Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian), again with the very welcome participations of children from the Outreach Program.

It was a great success!  Full of fun outdoor activities within and outside the school – and the children were delighted.

Lebanon Trust donated EUR 3600 to cover the summer camp food and fuel and the outings.

Thank you to all our generous supporters!

May 2022: trip to Lebanon

Above: The lovely card made for us by the children of FAID.

May 2022: a visit to Lebanon after a long absence

Dear friends and supporters,

In late May two of our volunteers spent ten days in Lebanon, after an absence of more than two years. We regret to report that the situation in the country has dramatically worsened; it is difficult to describe the misery and penury people must endure.

The services traditionally provided by the government have essentially disappeared. There is nearly no electricity (less than 1 hour a day in the capital Beirut, and unpredictable), no drinkable water, no public transport. Friends said that police do not intervene when called, as they lack petrol for their cars. Traffic lights don’t work. Medicines are either not available or too expensive. The banking sector has all but collapsed; even those who have funds cannot withdraw money beyond a certain arbitrary, and fluctuating, limit. The currency has lost almost all its value and is extremely volatile. Those who can have left the country, or are trying to leave.

Until mid- to late 2019, 100’000 Lebanese Lira (about 70 dollars, or 65 euro) were a respectable sum, enough to buy meat, cheese, vegetables and so on. Now it’s worth less than 3 dollars, and won’t buy an ice-cream. Salaries, of course, have stayed the same – so people who used to have a decent, if modest, salary now earn the equivalent of 30 or 40 dollars at most. Many essentials are imported, first and foremost fuel, necessary for transport and for electricity generators – hence the skyrocketing prices for food, medicine, transport and electricity. Apartment buildings have their own private generators that work at set times, so that people who cannot climb stairs have to go out and come back according to the generator’s schedule to use the lift. Refrigerators cannot be used.

Many shops and restaurants have closed; there is much less traffic than before; the city is dark at night. Young men scavenge garbage bins looking for items to resell or for scrap metal. There are many beggars, young and old. The modern city centre near the Parliament, completely rebuilt after the civil war and once full of high-end shops and restaurants, is now cordoned off and totally deserted, guarded by underpaid soldiers.

Elections on May 15 brought some new faces – and many old ones – to the Parliament. One hopes that things will improve.

Of course, there is still a minority of wealthy people in the country, so one can see luxury cars and full restaurants in certain areas.

Our volunteers visited FAID, a school for deaf children, and two kindergartens for refugee children. We have been supporting these institutions for many years now.

  • The FAID school this year has more than 80 pupils, from kindergarten to high school, and functions from Monday to Thursday to reduce costs. About 30 children – boys and girls – are boarders, sleeping at the school 3 nights a week. A nearby plot has been converted into a vegetable garden, complete with chicken, geese, rabbits and goats, by the school’s caretaker. The school survives on donations (including from large organisations such as UNICEF) of money and food, as the government has halted all financing. As the harsh conditions of life in the country impact children as well, the teachers would like to organise a “summer camp” in July to offer them some respite, where the pupils (divided into 2 groups) can spend five days & nights at the school and do fun activities.We donated EUR 3600, to cover the summer camp food and fuel for 10 days (60 children in total), and one outing. In addition, we financed a replacement water pump for the school (EUR 220) and did some light maintenance work (EUR 40 for materials).

 

  • We also donated EUR 1700 to the kindergarten of the refugee camp of Chatila in Beirut, and EUR 1700 to that of the Burj el-Shemali camp in Tyre in southern Lebanon, run by the Association Najdeh, for their operational expenses and purchase of educational material for the children. Thanks to solar panels and batteries, they have electricity all day. The teachers at these two institutions are exceptionally active, motivated and resourceful, really making the most of the scarce and ever-decreasing resources they have. In Burj el-Shemali they also prepared a wonderful Palestinian lunch for us!

We would like to thank our generous donors from the bottom of our hearts for their continued support.

Summary: Disbursements to the supported institutions, expenses (Euro)

May 2022
Donation to FAID for the summer camp 3600.00
FAID’s water pump and materials 260.00
Donations to Association Najdeh (refugee camps) 3400.00
Total 7260.00

 

below: with the FAID pupils and teachers

 

At the refugee kindergartens: classrooms, the teachers and a very happy volunteer about to enjoy a yummy lunch, and the ever-successful soap bubbles

   

FAID’s vegetable garden:

 

A bit of light maintenance work by the volunteers:

  

   

 

Kevin’s 3 Peaks+Khumbu challenge

A daring fundraiser: Kevin’s 3 Peaks+Khumbu challenge

A message from Kevin

In the two years since my last 3 Peaks challenge much as changed, and not for the better.. including the hardship endured every day by innocent children supported by Lebanon Trust. Their need is still great.

This fundraiser sees me traveling to Nepal for a personal challenge – To attempt to climb 3 mountains close to or over 6,000 metres – Lobouche East, Pokalde and Island Peak. All classic mountains in the Khumbu region.

I will be doing the trip with the memory of some very special people in my heart, including my wonderful brother Gary, who died from Covid, and a beautiful young person, Sailor Court who died far too young. Both within days of each other in September 2021.

In their memory, I will have their names on prayer flags that I will leave at the highest points on the 3 mountains.. 

If you leave a donation, please let me know if you would like a loved one’s name included on the prayer flags, so that I may pay respect to your memory of them, along side my own loved one’s, especially Gary and Sailor.

Thank you so much. Wish me luck.

Kevin

You can donate directly to Lebanon Trust, or through Kevin’s JustGiving page.

what we did in 2021

What we did in 2021

 

Dear friends and supporters,

For the second time since our beginnings in 2008, we were not able to travel to Lebanon this year.

The year 2021 was no better than 2020 for Lebanon. The country has been grappling with an economic and financial meltdown since the fall of 2019; the severe repercussions of the 2020 Beirut Port explosion; the continued effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and the spill-over effects of the ongoing Syrian crisis.

The currency has lost over 95% of its value, prices have skyrocketed, the government no longer subsidises essentials like medicine, bread and fuel; electricity and water are available for only a few hours per day. The situation continues to get worse, poverty is increasing dramatically, and the hardships of ordinary people are becoming insurmountable. The value of the minimum monthly salary is barely above 20 dollars (17 euro) now.

According to the latest UN data, 82% of the population now live below the poverty line (and 34% live in ‘extreme poverty’).

In this tragic scenario, what we can do is really a very little – but still more than nothing.

In total, we sent 25’100 dollars, equally split between FAID, the school for deaf children that we have been supporting since 2008, and Association Najdeh, working in Lebanon’s refugee camps.

FAID used the funds to

  • Buy fuel for generators and heaters (4 tonnes, USD 3200)
  • Finance a speech therapist, who teaches the deaf children to speak and lip-read (USD 9350)

Najdeh used the funds to

  • Cover (part of) the running costs of the kindergartens of the refugee camps of Shatila (in Beirut) and Burj el-Shemali (in Tyre); this includes operational expenses such as staff salaries and children’s meals
  • Buy educational materials and books for the children

Below, the children of FAID show their appreciation for our work & send a big THANK YOU to all:

This year we manage to disburse slightly more than last year, but unfortunately our fundraising did not match the entire sum. It was heart-warming, however, to see that so many friends are very generous. Thank you!

One of our volunteers raised funds by taking painting commissions: here you see some of the artwork. Commissions are open! All proceeds in favour of Lebanon Trust.

         

Income: donations to Lebanon Trust (Euro) (Dec 1st, 2020 – Nov 30th, 2021)

Fundraising initiatives, private donations, corporate sponsorships
Total 19276.37

(Year close Nov 30, 2021; EUR/USD/CHF currency exchange rate: as applied by our bank in Ireland)

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

Bank and PayPal fees, web hosting & domains 180.87
Donation to FAID 11224.39
Donations to Association Najdeh (refugee camps) 11224.39
Total 22629.65
Difference -3353.28

(*) Permanent TSB Forex, PayPal

We received many donations through Benevity, The Irish Online Giving Foundation and The UK Online Giving Foundation (thank you Mick!).

A donation to Najdeh

A donation to the refugee kindergartens

We are proud and delighted to report that we were able to send USD 12550 to our friends of the Association Najdeh, in support of their kindergartens, for educational material, food, running costs. These kindergartens are for children of refugee families. The money arrived this past week. A huge THANK YOU to all our donors.

More art for Lebanon

Art for Lebanon: A discerning buyer and more funds for our projects

This painting is a faithful recreation of a rare 1935 poster from Arquata Scrivia (Italy) advertising a summer cattle fair (Fiera di San Bartolomeo) . Complete with reproductions of the date stamp “12 AGO 1935, Anno XIII” (of the fascist era) and the signature of the then Podestà (Mayor) Luigi Lasagna.

Acrylic on canvas, cm 50×70, painted and donated by one of our volunteers, and sold in favour of our work in Lebanon.