Our story in Lebanon began on 20 July 2014 with the mission ‘The Orient with Saint Charbel" when registered our work as a Christian charity. The association placed its mission under the protection of Saint Charbel, a Lebanese hermit who is the patron saint of the Lebanon. And so seven Frenchmen and an Iraqi took off for the cedars.
This temporary operation quickly became a permanent mission, whose goal it is to provide aid and to address the pressing needs that were being felt in the villages at the borders of Syria, as well as in major cities Beirut and Tripoli.
The pressure exerted on Lebanon by successive waves of migration is still destabilizing the country: rising unemployment, rising rent prices, lower wages, rural exodus and youth emigration. Added to 4 million Lebanese are more than 2 million Palestinian, Syrian and Iraqi refugees. This massive influx poses enormous economic problems and is especially challenging because of Lebanon's historically difficult relationship with its neighbouring countries.
It is in this unique context that SOS Chrétiens d'Orient decided to permanently establish themselves in Lebanon. Since then, from Beirut, the mission has been working in the entire territory establishing deep and strong connections throughout the Lebanese provinces and cities.
In order to meet the needs of the Christian population, volunteers on the ground, assisted by Lebanese students and young professionals, are carrying out a variety of different actions. Much of the volunteer activity in Beirut and Tripoli is devoted to providing donations for poor Lebanese or refugee families. These donations are adapted to the needs of each of the families, ranging from providing the basic necessities for life to bringing Christmas gifts for children.
On a daily basis, volunteers work in the service of the smallest and the most vulnerable. We provide assistance and care to children, to the elderly and to those suffering from disabilities. We provide French language courses, school support, leisure and cultural activities as well as preparing meals as well as simply passing some time together in conversation or in prayer. Indeed, regardless of what form the activities take, what is most important is that through these activities, there is created and maintained a special link between the volunteers and the Christians of East. In this way, together we can spend joyous moments like celebrating birthdays, meals, special occasions, and especially religious feasts and festivals.
After 4 years of volunteer presence on Lebanese soil, SOS Chrétiens d'Orient continues to realize these goals in the places where we work. This is particularly so in our ongoing work with the elderly, with Lebanese and refugee children. To achieve these targets, we partner with local organisations, working alongside the Sisters of Charity, with the Notre-Dame Des Angels School and helping war wounded at Beit Chebab Hospital.
From December 2016, with the help of the Lebanese Association Al Nawraj, SOS Chrétiens d'Orient began to carry out economic projects, one in particular, the irrigation of arable land in Jabboulé, as well as purchasing tractors and agricultural equipment for an agricultural cooperative at Beit-Lahia. These projects focus on the poorest Lebanese populations, those Christians who are living in peripheral and isolated areas such as the Bekaa Valley and Akkar or in Southern Lebanon.
Since the beginning of 2018, a permanent antenna has been opened in Tripoli, in the poorest neighbourhoods which witnessed violent clashes in 2008 between Sunnis and the Alwaites.
Maps of the missions
Facilitate Lebanese children's access to education
Kobayat, a village of about twelve thousand inhabitants, is the largest Christian village in the mountainous region of Akkar. Thanks to its agriculture, it was long considered a guarantor...