On Aug. 4, 2020, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at Beirut’s port exploded, with initial reports indicating that more than 120 schools were damaged by the explosion. This left about 55,000 students without physical classrooms. Coupled with a raging pandemic, many students are finding it impossible to return to school.
Many students are unable to resume classes for a prolonged period of time. For the schools that do try to stay in session, they have to resort to temporary, ad-hoc WhatsApp classes. Carla Najem, a psychologist at the American University of Beirut Medical Centre says “Our basic needs are not being met right now – students are going through a lot mentally and emotionally.” They need all the help they can get – here are a few ways other students can show solidarity:
MIT: Lebanese Club and Arab Alumni Association
They raised $30,000 as part of a fundraising campaign for the Beirut Emergency Fund. The money will provide shelter, medical assistance, basic needs, and reconstruction support for the thousands affected.
Lebanon For Students
This student-based and student-led initiative founded by Lebanese expats is on a mission to help children affected by the Beirut explosion. Many students living in Lebanon or abroad depend on money to fund their education. If they fail to pay their fees, they are at risk of losing their places in universities.
The money will be transferred into a bank account with public records, and once a student has applied for funding, the money will then be used directly to pay their university or school fee. Here is where you can donate.
Humanity and Inclusion
Humanity and Inclusion works to get more vulnerable students with specific needs into formal and non-formal schools.Find out how you can donate and contribute to their goal of making education more inclusive in Lebanon here.
Save the Children
Statistics have shown that nearly 100,000 children in Beirut have been displaced after this devastating explosion, and the country’s already weak health system have left families with little to protect themselves with.
The children in Lebanon need help, school children have already lost months of school — firstly, because of the protests, then the pandemic, and now the Beirut explosion. Find out how you can donate here, or sponsor a child here.
Union of Relief and Development Associations
This non-governmental organisation builds schools and sponsors scholarships, and provides material assistance to schools. Find out how you can help a child or youth in need.
This non-profit organisation has unified mission with five programmes. One of these is to improve social justice by aiming to help students with their education and most recently fixing the facades of hundreds of apartments affected by the Beirut blast. Here is how you can help.
Teach A Child
This non-profit provides access to education for underprivileged students across Lebanon by covering all the expenses related to their education regardless of gender, religion, location, or performance. They collect donations to provide basic essentials for families in need during this period of crisis. Find out more here.
Teach for Lebanon
The goal for this non-profit is for all children in Lebanon, regardless of their socioeconomic background, to have access to quality education. How do they do this? They employ and train Lebanon’s most promising graduates, and place them in schools serving underprivileged refugees and Lebanese children. Here is how you can donate to this cause.
Books for Beirut
Michel S. Moushabeck moved from Lebanon to the US when he was 19. He later founded Interlink Publishing. After the Beirut explosion, he began a fundraiser called “Books for Beirut” which is still ongoing.
“We’ve published nearly 30 leading Lebanese writers in translation, many of them live in Beirut and were directly affected by the blast. We started a campaign and offered to donate 30 percent of the sales of books by Lebanese authors to the Lebanese Food Bank,” he says. Moushabeck says the campaign served two purposes: to help raise funds and to amplify the voices of Lebanese writers.
Although it may seem like there is an endless supply of charity and donation organisations and websites, always do your research on each to know exactly where your money is going. Even in times of desperate social need, there are always people who don’t have the best intentions at heart.
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