NGOs and initiatives supporting Beirut during crisis

Source: Annahar
Manal Makkieh and Sandra Abdelbaki
Members of Loyac assessing the damages in Karantina, Beirut. (Loyac)
Members of Loyac assessing the damages in Karantina, Beirut. (Loyac)
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BEIRUT: In response to the Beirut blast which shook Beirut on August 4, a number of non-governmental organizations and initiatives have been working relentlessly to support Beirut and the Lebanese community through different means.

 Annahar gathered information about the work of some of the NGOs and initiatives offering aid after the Blast.

 International Medical Corps

 The global humanitarian non-profit organization International Medical Corps, is dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering by providing health care training and medical relief programs worldwide.

 “Immediately after the blast, IMC has designed an emergency response plan to assist the affected population,” said Makram Jawhary, mental health social worker at IMC. “The plan mainly includes a mobile medical unit that roves around Beirut to provide people with health and mental health services.” 

 Speaking of IMC’s mental health services, they include first psychological aid consultations on the ground as well as follow-ups with case managers in medical centers partnering with the organization.

 Find them on Instagram and Facebook @internationalmedicalcorps 

 Rise Up Beirut Campaign by LOYAC Lebanon

 One day after the explosion, LOYAC Lebanon launched the Rise Up Beirut Campaign which includes three action teams: Public Service Volunteer Team, Rehabilitation and Assessment team, and Operation team. The Public Service Volunteer Team has been organizing several cleanups of homes, streets, hospitals, public and private facilities in different locations of Beirut, in addition to supporting other NGOs and initiatives in delivering community service activities such as food and clothes distributions to families in need. 

 In coordination with the operation team, the Rehabilitation and Assessment team has filed several cases of damaged homes, assessed them through field visits, and began with the rehabilitation process in locations such as Geitawi, Karantina, and Mar-Mikhael. Not only does the rehabilitation process involve the renovation of homes and buildings, but it will also include the renovation of art centers such as a theatre in Bourj Hammoud.

 “The campaign has already renovated more than 16 homes in only one month. 34 homes are currently under construction and almost 70 homes are in the process of renovation,” said Campaign Director Doha Faraj. 

 Additionally, LOYAC initiated a “Trauma Management program” where it is providing mental health support to its volunteers and staff operating under the Rise Up Beirut campaign through weekly group or individual therapy sessions.  

 “The work of our campaign isn’t only limited to renovating homes. It's about helping Beirut rise again from the ashes, returning the art and colors to its streets, and bringing back hope to its people,” Faraj said.

 Find LOYAC on Instagram and Facebook @loyac.lebanon and contact them on 71  092 497.

 Beirut Hope

 Beirut Hope is a social initiative which was born directly after the Beirut explosion by a group of young volunteers. The initiative aims to heal distressed families through providing urgently needed medical supplies, protective gear, and other support and services to those affected by the catastrophic explosion.

 The project started with identifying the gaps and assessing the different needs of families in different locations in Beirut including Mar-Mikhael, Gemmayze, Achrafieh, Bourj Hammoud and nearby areas. In coordination with other NGOs and initiatives, the project is delivering food boxes, hygiene supplies, hot meals, canned goods furniture, blankets, housewares, and equipment and more depending on the assessed needs of the families.

 Project HOPE partnered with the Rene Moawad Foundation (RMF) Lebanon in order to provide trauma care and deliver psychosocial support to distressed individuals. Additionally, they are providing medical assistance through supplying medicines and medical and hygiene supplies to families, their local partners in Beirut, hospitals, and mobile clinics.

 Find them on Instagram and Facebook @Beiruthope and contact them on 70 941 535

 Offre Joie

 Offre Joie is a Lebanese organization founded in 1985 by Melhem Khalaf.

 After the blast, Offre Joie was one of the first organizations to take immediate action and offer its aid the same night. Their services first started with relocating families who lost their homes and providing them with a safe place to stay. They also organized several cleanups to clean and the clear the debris in Beirut after the effects of destruction.

 The organization then initiated an emergency response and established a rehabilitation program, in two severely damaged areas which are Karantina and Mar-Mikhael. They started doing field assessments on ground in collaboration with experts in the field. After the assessments, Offre Joie began with the renovation process of several homes and buildings in these affected areas.

 They are currently on ground and are moving forward with the renovation process.

 Find them on Instagram @offre.joie and contact them on 03 310 442

Taydal Al Amar Ghali 

 “Taydal Al Amar Ghali” was founded to commemorate “Amar Ghali”, promote safe driving, and to further enforce traffic laws in Lebanon. 

 After the explosion, the NGO’s response to the crisis was immediate.

 “Our response has started with cleaning the streets in Gemmayze, Karantina, and Mar Mikhael,” said Noura Abou Hamze, Secretary at Taydal Al Amar Ghali. “Throughout our field visits, we’ve witnessed that people require further services, therefore we placed a tent in Al Shohada Square to collect all sorts of donations including food and clothes.

 Currently, the NGO is assessing the needs of more affected individuals within Beirut to start distributing the donations.

 “We quantified the number of people in need and now we began conducting our visits to new areas like Zkak Blat and Ashrafieh. Our aim this time is to provide medical assistance and renovation to the damaged infrastructure,” Abou Hamze told Annahar.

 Find them on Instagram and Facebook: @taydalamarghali 

 Food Blessed

Over the past 8 years, Food Blessed has served 1,013,200 meals, packaged 25,000 food boxes, rescued over 200 000 tons of surplus food, and involved more than 3600 community members, individuals, and institutions. After the Beirut blast, the mission of this NGO continues.

 “On August 10th, we launched our relief community kitchen. In four weeks, we've successfully cooked and served 14,000 meals with an average of 500 and 900 meals targeted every day. Each meal consisted of a main dish, a fruit, a salad and a dessert. To many, our meal was probably the first and last meal they will have during the day,” said Maya Terro, co-founder & executive director at food Blessed.

 Food Blessed has also managed to pack and deliver around 10,000 food boxes as part of its #BeatHungerLB campaign that was launched in October of 2019 to provide food assistance packages to people in need across Lebanon which as of August 5th has been expanded to include people in need who have been affected by the port blast.

 “We also managed to create a small team which assesses each case and offers help in medicine and repairing damaged houses directly” added Terro.

 Find them on Instagram and Facebook @foodblessed and contact them on 81 968 475

 Ashrafieh Social Association

 Ashrafieh Social Association is another local NGO that is providing medical, psychosocial, and cultural services during these difficult times. 

 “Our mission is to provide assistance and care for the elderly people who got their homes devastated or harshly affected by Beirut blast, in Mar Mikhael, Rmeil, Geitawi, and Karm el Zaytoun,” said Josiane Hanna, one of the assistants at the NGO. “Through our local tents placed on the ground, we were able to distribute 300 daily hot meals, food boxes, hygiene kits, and clothes to affected families.”

 Additionally, the NGO has started providing further services for elderly people with special needs. This includes walkers, diapers, water mattress, and wheelchairs.

 “We are also helping people in renovations by fixing windows for 10 houses, purchasing home furniture, wood doors, and kitchen utensils” Hanna told Annahar.

 Contact them on 03 684 585

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