Charity Work In Lebanon – July 2017
Our blogger for this week is Angela Hind, ecodek® Sales Manager. A couple of weeks ago, Angela was part of a charity effort in Lebanon, so we caught up with her to find out what experiences she had.
Each year, volunteers from the Youth of the Order of Malta join forces with other delegations from Germany, England, Holland and France to bring joy, love and happiness to physically and mentally challenged individuals (our “guests”) coming from specialised homes and psychiatric homes across Lebanon. This year, I joined them and here is a little insight to my experience.
We were based at the Al Fadi Centre, Chabrouh which is 60 km North East of Beirut and benefits from stunning views of the Kesrouan Mountains and valleys. The centre was built in 1998 and is ideally suited for disabilities and wheelchair mobility. Since then, young volunteers from the Order of Malta throughout the world have joined forces to run holiday camps serving mentally and physically challenged Lebanese. Life has been unkind to many, who are left alone without any family, friends and resources.
Our guests arrived on the Monday morning and each one was introduced to his own personal helper for the week. The guests are not used to one to one care so this alone was a huge treat for them. During their time with us, they were “treated” to all the fun and games that a group of young people could throw at them whether it was swimming, painting, water fighting, singing, dressing up or just sitting quietly and holding hands enjoying the peaceful contact of another human being. To watch our guests come alive during the week just through various acts of extreme kindness and a gentle touch was enough to restore anyone’s faith in humankind, the young especially. We celebrated Mass every day at 5pm where quite amazingly, guests who had no ability to speak managed to “sing” quite spectacularly! Considering our limited Arabic and their limited English, communication was never a problem.
Sadly, at the end of our time together, we accompanied our guests back to their “home” in Beirut the following Saturday with heavy hearts but safe in the knowledge that they had experienced the happiest five days possible.
“I ask not about your race, nor your colour, nor your religion but tell me what is your suffering”.
Such is Pasteur’s motto that inspires the line of conduct of the Order of Malta in Lebanon and which is applied, over the whole Lebanese territory regardless of religious denomination, to our “Lords” the poor, the sick, the handicapped, the elderly, and all others who have not been privileged by life and who, despite their plight, are in their right to aspire to better tomorrows.
This week’s feature image is a lovely view of the Faraya Mountains in Lebanon taken by Angela during her trip.
It’s totally inspiring reading about Angela’s experience.
Has anyone ever participated in charity work abroad and if so what work did you do? Leave us a comment in the comments field below.