Brave swimmers for charity
Also this year some dedicated friends have braved the frigid waves in Fenit to raise funds for Lebanon Trust: a big THANK YOU to Mike and Jordan Shea, who raised over €400 with the Christmas Swim! Fantastic!
Lebanon Trust’s 2016 results
(tablets and smartphones: best viewed in landscape mode)
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
What we did at the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID) in Beirut:
What we did at the refugee kindergartens:
Income: Donations to Lebanon Trust (Euro)
|Private donations, collection boxes, sponsorship cards, proceeds from MC Ferraro’s latest book||7878.08|
(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|
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
A day at a refugee camp in Tyre, South Lebanon
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.
(on tablets and mobile devices: best viewed in landscape mode)
Dublin and Zurich, November 2016
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.