Since 2019, Lebanon has been in an ongoing struggle as a nation. What started as an economic crisis in Lebanon has now pushed more than 80% of the population into poverty. Of this population, poverty has most significantly impacted marginalized groups including migrant workers, children and the elderly. One of the many organizations fighting for the citizens living in poverty in Lebanon is Heart for Lebanon. Post-COVID-19, Heart for Lebanon continues to fight for its home country as its economic crisis continues.
Heart for Lebanon
Following the elections of new government officials, when the prime minister could not agree on the cabinet mandate, this, in turn, led to obstruction. They continued to obstruct the domestic investigation into the Beirut blast in 2020, which took 220 lives and injured more than 7,000. This blast disrupted electricity and these issues have continued to spiral as the country dealt with the COVID-19 virus.
The country is in a humanitarian crisis, deemed “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II,” and organizations such as Heart for Lebanon have offered their aid. Heart for Lebanon’s new center is designed to lower these numbers of poverty, providing aid for families and children as well as Christian education. Located in the heart of Bekka Valley, their facility features a warehouse for packaging aid items, a chapel room, a clinic, a cafeteria and dormitories.
Hope on Wheels
One thing it has provided to the community is its mobile ministry truck, called “Hope on Wheels.” The truck travels to different parts of Lebanon, spreading biblical messages in the form of skits, games, songs and puppets. Hundreds of children gather around every week to stay for a few hours and distract themselves from the everyday terrors they face in their current situation; it lets them enjoy being children again. The Hope Ministry is equipped to handle and educate more than 12,000 refugees each year, and as it continues its efforts, it is helping children working through the current poverty crisis in Lebanon.
The H.O.P.E Program
The H.O.P.E program, Helping Overcome Poverty Through Education, provides a proper education to children in multiple communities in Lebanon struggling from poverty. Due to the poverty that has affected the majority of the population during the economic crisis in Lebanon, children have not had access to formal education, but the H.O.P.E program has offered informal education for children during this time. Children not only learn about biblical content, but the curriculum covers the essentials they need such as math, English, Arabic and art.
Though a few other reputable organizations are helping with the poverty crisis in Lebanon, Heart for Lebanon is actively helping to serve the vulnerable demographics of the population. From donations to offering educational material/lessons, it is helping many children across Lebanon to escape from the stress of their day-to-day lives.
More than one in 10 families have had to send their children to work to help with the inflation that has taken place in Lebanon. Alongside this fact, 15% of families have had to halt their children’s education as many can no longer afford it. With these facts in mind, it can be difficult to see a child undergoing these huge life changes but having something to look forward to whether it be school or fun puppet shows, is one of the simple ways to care for the children of Lebanon.
– Isabella Polo