Because Lebanon today is in a state of total economic collapse. The country once known as the Switzerland of the Middle East is in disarray. Since 1990, the Lebanese Pound maintained a stable conversion rate of 1,500LBP per US Dollar. In 2021, the local currency lost its value with the conversion rate reaching 30,000 LBP per dollar at the end of 2021. A dramatic shortage in dollar liquidity led to a shortage in basic necessities (pharmaceuticals, food supplies etc.)
To add insult to injury, the explosion of the port of Beirut on August 4th, 2020 destroyed a major residential sector of the capital, leaving people homeless and penniless. In the absence of basic governmental services such as electric power and water, the Lebanese have had to resort to their own initiatives in order to survive. Seventy percent of the population now lives below the poverty line
- Because, with 1.5 million refugees on its soil, Lebanon ranks first among all nations in the ratio of refugees relative to its population of only 4 million. Today, with unemployment rate skyrocketing, Lebanon carries the brunt of the regional human tragedy that has spilled all over the globe.
- Because “Lebanon cannot stand on its feet, anymore. It is overwhelmed, frightened and broke. It stands on the frontline, facing the ISIS in the east and north…and the deep blue sea to the west. 1.5 million (mostly Syrian) refugees are dispersed all over its tiny territory. Its economy is collapsing and infrastructure crumbling.” The Pravda Report.com/world/asia/13-04-2016.
- Because Top foreign dignitaries, one after another, are now paying visits to Lebanon: the U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. All the foreign visitors are predictably expressing “deep concern” about the fate of Lebanon. http://www.pravdareport.com/world/asia/13-04-2016/134153.
- Because Lebanon has made his mark on the advancement of humanity throughout the ages in so many critical ways, starting with the Phoenician first alphabetic script in 1000 BC. The origins of most alphabetic writing systems can be traced back to that Phoenician alphabet, including Greek, Etruscan, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew, as well as the scripts of India and East Asia. Even today, despite long lasting hardships of war and regional turmoil, the Lebanese continue to be significant contributors to the progress of mankind, as witnessed by the long list of philosophers, scientists, and creative minds that have left a lasting impact on our world. To name but a few: Gibran Khalil Gibran world renowned poet and author of the classic: The Prophet; Amine Maalouf, acclaimed author, winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt and active member of France’s Academie Francaise; Charles Malik signer of the UN Charter of Human Rights, and president of the UN General Assembly 1958-59; Amal Alamuddin Clooney, renowned Human Rights activist and lawyer; Danny Thomas, entertainer and founder of St Jude Research Hospital treating thousands of cancer stricken children; Ralph Nader, renowned US consumer advocate; Michael DeBakey, innovator, scientist, and pioneer open heart surgeon; Gaby Moawad, OB GYN pioneer robotic surgeon; Christiane Ferran, Harvard University Professor of Surgery, scientist , leading geneticist and current lead researcher of the A20 gene; Diana Azzam, 2014 recipient of the AACR women in cancer research scholar award, and in the field of finance topping Forbes list for 30 under 30 Europe Finance 2016 for “top traders and innovators that are fueling game changing companies and shaping how we pay and get paid” : Oussama Ammar VC Fund, Laura Maria Baz Vitol Group, etc. etc…
- Because, “Lebanon is more than a country, it is a message (of coexistence) to the world” (Slogan of Pope John Paul’s visit to Lebanon in May 11th, 1997.
WHY DONATE TO CHILDREN OF LEBANON?
- Because the impact of your contributions is being maximized by the simple fact that Children of Lebanon inc. incurs no administrative fees. Tax-deductible donations are transferred in full directly to beneficiaries. Expenses are limited to paying seasonal service providers such as accountant, social worker etc. for their services. These expenses are paid for through community activities. We have no salaried employee, as administrative and secretarial services are provided by dedicated and qualified members free of charge.
- Because we make sure funds reach the neediest through regular face to face visits to families, and aid is directly paid as tuition to the schools.
WHY FOCUS ON EDUCATION?
- Because, despite long lasting war and turmoil since 1975, you find no Lebanese beggars on the streets of New York, London, or Paris today. Only through education can we keep it that way!
- Because education can be instrumental in promoting tolerance and moderation and be a successful antidote to terror and fanaticism. Please check the Washington Post article of Gordon Brown on 11/29/2015 WPO titled “A powerful antidote to the Islamic State, This article is listed in the news about Lebanon section.
- Because Lebanon is a tiny land of 4,086 square miles and a Lebanese population of 4 million. The pillars of its survival are a rigorous multilingual/ multicultural educational system that consistently ranks 5th or 6th internationally both at the high school and college levels. Lebanon’s national treasures are the bright and educated youth the country sends to the world, enriching it, generation after generation.
- Because the educational sector is struggling: Describing the current status of the educational sector in Lebanon, Yayoi Segi, an educationalist and the Senior Program Specialist for UNESCO’s Regional Office based in Beirut, works extensively in both Syria and Lebanon: “The public education sector is very small in terms of its coverage in the country, reaching only about 35 percent of the school age population. The state allocation to education is less than 10 percent while the world average or benchmark is 18-20 percent. The situation is further compounded by the currently ongoing crisis in the region whereby Lebanon has had to accommodate a large influx of refugees. The public provision of education has expanded and continues to expand. However, it is impacting on quality and contributes to an increasing number of vulnerable Lebanese students dropping out of school, while it can only reach 50 percent of Syrian refugee children.”