Yearly Archives: 2016

2016 activities and results

Lebanon Trust’s 2016 results

Cutting the ribbon at the opening of the new playground at FAID.

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Dear friends and supporters,

we would like to tell you what we did this year with your donations.

We went to Lebanon in October, and stayed at the deaf children’s school that we support, the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID). There, we built a brand-new playground for the kids and donated towards the school’s operational expenses. About 25% of FAID’s pupils are refugees from the Syria war.

The representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Beirut visited us at FAID. This resulted in a very nice video and story, also published here on our own website, Facebook and Twitter.

Watch the video: (© UNHCR)

We also published a beautiful story about two deaf children who used to live in poverty in a Syrian refugee camp, and who are now attending school at FAID thanks to internet crowdfunding, organised by a clever American volunteer.

Like every year, we also visited two refugee camps and donated to their kindergartens, run by our local partner Association Najdeh. Lebanon hosts more than 1 million registered refugees from Syria, on a local population of 4 million (and 450 thousand Palestinian refugees). It’s like Ireland had 1.2 million refugees – the real number is 11 thousand – or the UK had 16.3 million – real number 169 thousand (source: UN).

The total amount donated in 2016 slightly exceeded last year’s.

Our 2016 activity in eight pictures

(more pictures here)

Before Lebanon Trust’s intervention: the area around the gilrs’ dormitory at FAID was unused

… and after: the new playground at the girls’ dormitory

The children welcomed the new playground with much enthusiasm

Our chairman Christy, justifiably proud of the work done

A warm welcome at the refugee camp of Chatila. We visit and support this kindergarten since 2010.

Kindergarten of the refugee camp of Burj el-Shemali, in South Lebanon. We visit regularly and support this kindergarten since 2012.

Lebanon Trust’s donated USD 8000 to FAID

Lebanon Trust donated a total of USD 4000 to two refugee kindergartens

What we did at the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID) in Beirut:

  1. Donation of one year’s worth of funding for the school bus, the electricity generator and the classrooms’ heating. Total: USD 8000
  2. Maintenance and improvement of FAID’s premises. Tools, material and equipment have been purchased by Lebanon Trust, and the work carried out by the volunteers themselves: total USD 2534
  • Creation of a new playground on a vacant plot outside the girls’ dormitory: complete clearance of the area and of its access pathways; complete re-paving; restoration and re-painting of the perimeter fence; purchase, installation of 4 large wooden boards along the perimeter fence to be painted and decorated by the children; construction and installation of a safety door to the generator housing; sourcing, purchase and installation of child safety surface and of high-quality metal playground equipment (slide, swings, merry-go-round, see-saw, etc.; 5 pieces in total); restoration, re-painting and installation of six wooden benches in the area.
  • Creation of a garden with plants and flower beds (purchased & planted for the purpose) outside the girls’ dormitory, to provide the children with a pleasant and safe recreational area.
  • Purchase and installation of high-quality metal merry-go-round and see-saw for the kindergarten’s existing playground.
  • Installation of a net around the external perimeter of the school’s courtyard, to allow the pupils to play football.
  1. Organisation of a visit by a delegation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Lebanon, headed by Senior Communication and Public Information Officer Matthew Saltmarsh. The visit included interviews with Lebanon Trust’s officers and school staff; visit of the classrooms during school time; visit of the Audiology Department with live demonstrations; illustration of the school academic programme and of the challenges faced by FAID; visit of the playground area being built by us; filming of school activities, speech therapy and interviews.
  2. Organisation of a visit by a delegation from the Symantec Corporation’s Beirut office, headed by the Commercial Manager for Egypt and the Levant Region Marcel Nasser. Symantec’s Ireland HQ have been supporting us for many years now.
  3. Evaluation of the work done by FAID and discussion of their plans and needs; meetings with their management (Director and Board), with the staff and pupils.

What we did at the refugee kindergartens:

  1. Kindergarten of the Chatila refugee camp in Beirut: on-going financial support for books and educational material, USD 2000; field visit with inspection of classrooms, roof playground and educational material financed by Lebanon Trust, meeting with the teachers, the children and the schoolmaster
  2. Kindergarten of the Burj el Shemali refugee camp in Tyre: on-going financial support for books and educational material, USD 2000; field visit with inspection of new and refurbished classrooms and playground; meetings with pupils, teachers and head teacher; detailed discussion about their needs and plans.

Finances

Income: Donations to Lebanon Trust (Euro)

Fundraising events 3171.94
Private donations, collection boxes, sponsorship cards, proceeds from MC Ferraro’s latest book 7878.08
Corporate sponsorships 2484.47
Total 13534.49

(Year close Nov 30, 2016; EUR/USD/CHF currency exchange rate: 2016 average)

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

Web hosting & domains 180.00
Hardware & materials, transport, logistics, etc. 2533.30
Contribution to FAID 7520.00
Contribution to Chatila refugee kindergarten 1880.00
Contribution to Burj el Shemali refugee kindergarten 1880.00
Total 13993.30
Loss 458.81

Accommodation was kindly provided by FAID for free. Flights and local transport have been paid for privately. The 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, virtual flea market, bucket collections.

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

  • Paul’s Barber Shop, 123a Old County Road, Crumlin (Dublin, Ireland)
  • The people of St. Peter’s Crescent, Walkinstown (Dublin, Ireland)
  • McCormack’s Cycle Centre, 31a, Dorset Street Lower (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Eddy McHugh’s Shop, Patrick’s Road in Greenhills (Dublin, Ireland)
  • O’Neill’s House of Sport, Walkinstown Avenue (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Paul Reid Dental Laboratories (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Kelly’s Welding & Engineering Supplies Ltd (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Gerard Kelly (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Big Mick (Dublin, Ireland)
  • All the lads in Farleng Engineering Ltd. (Dublin, Ireland)
  • John Farley, owner, Farleng Engineering Ltd. (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Dr Maher Kemmoona, Walkinstown (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Lilliput Stores, 5 Rosemount Terrace, Arbour Hill (Dublin, Ireland)
  • … and all the many people who sponsored Paul Horace on the sponsor cards
  • Mark Teahan, Tralee Printing Works (Tralee, Ireland)
  • Breda Flynn, wife of the late Joe Flynn (Tralee, Ireland)
  • Danie Linnane, of Linnanes Bar (Tralee, Ireland)
  • Neill Nolan, of Nolan’s Garage (Tralee, Ireland)
  • Darren O’ Sullivan, of The Castle Bar (Tralee, Ireland)
  • David Keane, Symantec Corp. (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Mick Halpin, Symantec Corp. (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Stephanie Derwojed, Symantec Corp. (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Julie Weber, Symantec Corp. (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Fam. Pier Ponzano (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Catherine & Adrian Poeydomenge-Ruf (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Fam. Della Penna (Genoa, Italy)
  • Fam. Prola-Smith (London, UK)
  • Ole Vossnack (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Rosalba Napolitano (Milan, Italy)
  • Wolfram Rausch, Symantec Corp. (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Jayne Delahunt, Symantec Corp. (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Amanda Davis, Symantec Corp. (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Louise Hanlon, Symantec Corp. (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Elaine Curley, Symantec Corp. (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Staff, Committee and customers at St Peregrines GAA Club, Blanchardstown (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Matt Saltmarsh, UNHCR (Beirut, Lebanon)
  • Lisa Abou Khaled, UNHCR (Beirut, Lebanon)
  • Marcel Nasser and colleagues, Symantec Corp. (Beirut, Lebanon)
  • Mike Shea (Tralee)
  • Michael Conway (Tralee)
  • Chelsea Conway (Tralee)
  • Maria Cristina Ferraro (Genoa, Italy)
  • Martina Merkle (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Nino e Milda Cocurullo (Genoa, Italy)
  • Patricia Meade
  • Enrico e Lilli Bertolotto (Genoa, Italy)
  • Giovanni Zappavigna & fam (Marina di Massa, Italy)
  • Alessandro Bertolotto (Genoa, Italy)
  • Fam. Parodi (Genoa, Italy)
  • Fam. Vigna-Mori (Savona, Italy)
  • Alison Hirt-Ferguson (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Giovanna Pellegrini (Genoa, Italy)
  • Giovanni e Lucia Fasanella (Asmara, Eritrea)
  • Licinio Aquini e Caterina Alberghini (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
  • Silvana Falaschini (Livorno, Italy)
  • Mariapia Porta (Genoa, Italy)
  • Caterina Pellegrini (Turin, Italy)
  • Filippo e Laura Peschiera-Casali (Genoa, Italy)
  • Francesco Devia & fam (Genoa, Italy)
  • Fabio & Marta Delfante-Cocurullo (Genoa, Italy)
  • Fam. Ricci (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)

The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR writes a story about FAID and Lebanon Trust

Hot off the press: the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR publishes a story about FAID and Lebanon Trust

Six-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammed responds to questions in a classroom at the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf in Beirut, Lebanon. © UNHCR/Haidar Darwish

During our trip in October, a delegation of the UN Refugee Agency came to visit us at FAID. They interviewed us and the school’s staff, visited the audiology department and the classrooms, spoke to children and parents – and then filmed and summarised all this in a wonderful story.(opens a new tab)

Watch the video (© UNHCR)

Special thanks to Matt Saltmarsh, Lisa Abou Khaled, Haidar Darwish and to all their colleagues who made this possible.

Meet Warda and Assad, and their amazing story

Meet Warda and Assad, and their amazing story

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A wonderful story to share today!

Earlier this year a young American, John Van Rooy, who teaches English in Saudi Arabia, went to Lebanon’s Bekaa valley to work as a volunteer among Syrian refugees. He got to know a family there – listen to his own words:

This family “led by an amazing woman named Wafaa, is from Aleppo—a city that has been catastrophically destroyed by the Syrian conflict. They have been living in a refugee camp for the past 4 years. Wafaa supports her severely disabled husband, elderly mother-in-law, and 3 children—including a deaf daughter named Warda. Warda is 12 years old and has been unable to attend school for the past 4 years as there are no programs for deaf children in Zahle. Wafaa told me that Warda would cry every day when she watched the other children going off to school. With the assistance of the Learning Centre for the Deaf in Beirut, we were able to find a boarding school where Warda can study and learn to read, write, and sign. The cost of the program is $3500, which includes room and board for 1 year.

So John started a crowdfunding collection, and in just 3 months managed to raise 6000 dollars, enough for Warda and also Assad, age 9, another refugee deaf boy who had never attended school before.

Now both Warda and Assan are at FAID, where they attend school, are among friends, and at last live in a peaceful and safe environment.

Well done John and thank you FAID for this amazing work!

Donation matching from Symantec in Ireland

Two friends lend a huge hand – and a matching donation from Symantec Ireland – to Lebanon Trust

With their tireless support, David Keane and Wolfram Rausch of Symantec in Dublin made it possible for Lebanon Trust to receive a USD 2000 matching donation for our project. Thank you Symantec, David and Wolfram!

A visit by UNHCR to Lebanon Trust

UNHCR visits Lebanon Trust at FAID

Matt Saltmarsh, spokesman of the UN Refugee Agency in Beirut, with colleague Lisa Abou Khaled and photographer Haidar Darwish spent a morning with us during our stay in Lebanon last October. They interviewed Lebanon Trust’s Christy and Laura and FAID’s Gladys; visited the the Audiology department, where audiologist Nemer illustrated his work and demonstrated his equipment; had a tour of all the classrooms with Lina, Academic director, and were cheered by all the children; then had a conversation with Toufic Takchi, chairman of FAID’s Board. A memorable day for all involved. Thank you Matt, Lisa and Haidar!

The UNHCR delegation visiting the Audiology department at FAID.

The UNHCR delegation visiting the Audiology department at FAID.

Matthew Saltmarsh of UNHCR interviews Lebanon Trust and FAID staff

Matthew Saltmarsh of UNHCR interviews Lebanon Trust and FAID staff

Matt Saltmarsh (UNHCR) interviews FAID's Chairman Toufic Takchi

Matt Saltmarsh (UNHCR) interviews FAID’s Chairman Toufic Takchi

FAID's founder Father Andeweg's portrait, flanked by Lina, FAID's Academic director, and Christy, Lebanon Trust's chairman

FAID’s founder Father Andeweg’s portrait, flanked by Lina, FAID’s Academic director, and Christy, Lebanon Trust’s chairman

Symantec Lebanon visits FAID

International software giant Symantec’s Lebanese office visits FAID, School for the Deaf,  and the volunteers of Lebanon Trust

Our friends of Symantec Dublin have been helping Lebanon Trust with great generosity over the years. During our trip in October, a three-member delegation of Symantec’s Lebanese office in Beirut visited FAID. The group was headed by Marcel Nasser. They toured the school and visited the area where we were building the playground for FAID.

Thank you dear friends and see you next year!

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Noel thanks some good friends

Our officer Noel presents some good friends with a Certificate of Appreciation

Noel showed all our gratitude to friends Mark, Danie, Breda and Joe, Neill, Darren for their continued support to Lebanon Trust’s charitable projects, and presented them with a framed Certificate of Appreciation.

Thank you friends!

Mark Teahan, from Tralee Printing Works

Mark Teahan, from Tralee Printing Works

Breda Flynn, wife of our friend the late Joe Flynn

Breda Flynn, wife of the late Joe Flynn

Danie Linnane, of Linnanes Bar in Tralee

Danie Linnane, of Linnanes Bar in Tralee

Neill Nolan, of Nolan's Garage in Tralee

Neill Nolan, of Nolan’s Garage in Tralee

Darren O' Sullivan, of The Castle Bar in Tralee

Darren O’ Sullivan, of The Castle Bar in Tralee

A day at a refugee camp in Tyre, South Lebanon

A day at a refugee camp in Tyre, South Lebanon

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During our trip to Lebanon last month, we travelled to the refugee camp of Burj el-Shemali in Tyre, in the South of Lebanon. A permit granted in advance by the Lebanese Army is necessary to enter the camp. We went to see the local kindergarten run by the Association Najdeh, which hosts about 80 children, and which we support since 2012.

The kindergarten is spotless, very well maintained, and the classrooms brightly painted and decorated. The kids are a delight, full of chatter and laughter. The teachers are very motivated and full of initiatives. We played and chased soap bubbles with the children, talked with the teachers, and delivered a donation of 2000 dollars for teachers’ training and operational expenses.

Good news from Lebanon – Nov 2016

 

Good news from Lebanon

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Dublin and Zurich, November 2016

Dear friends,

the Lebanon Trust volunteers just returned from Lebanon this past weekend. We visited, and donated to, two kindergartens in refugee camps (USD 4000 in total), and stayed at FAID, the school for deaf children that we have been supporting since 2008.

There, we received a visit by a Symantec delegation headed by Marcel Nasser, Commercial Manager for Egypt and the Levant. Symantec Ireland supports us generously. We also received Matthew Saltmarsh, spokesman of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Beirut, and some of his colleagues, who visited the classrooms and the audiology department, and interviewed us, the school staff and some parents.

In addition to donating USD 8000 to finance FAID’s much-needed speech therapist & school operations, we built for the children a brand-new playground and a garden area: see the difference that two weeks – and your continued great generosity – made for these disadvantaged kids!

So, on behalf of Lebanon Trust and especially of the kids, a very big THANK YOU!!!!

A proper financial report for our donors will follow.

Our 2016 work in pictures: before …

2014_playground_01 .. and it was definitely not a welcoming place for FAID's children
2014_playground_02 The former garden had been abandoned and was completely overgrown ...

and after:

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2016_new_area_01a 2016_new_area_03a
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2016_party_03a 2016_party_04
2016_work_03a 2016_work_02a
2016_new_area_04 2016_new_area_06a
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Matthew Saltmarsh of UNHCR interviews Lebanon Trust and FAID staff

Matthew Saltmarsh of UNHCR (centre) interviews Lebanon Trust and FAID staff

The UNHCR delegation visiting the Audiology department at FAID.

The UNHCR delegation visiting the Audiology department at FAID.

UNHCR at FAID

UNHCR at FAID. The Chairman of FAID’s Board, Toufic Takchi, is second from left.

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A portrait of FAID’s founder Father Andeweg flanked by Lina, FAID’s Academic Supervisor, and Christy, Lebanon Trust’s Chairman.