Dear Friends of Salam LADC سلام,
This week was record-breaking and ground-breaking in many ways! Not only did we have our biggest single food distribution to date, but our international partners delivered us two 40ft containers of non-food items (more than 30 tons!). All this was distributed to over two thousand Syrian and Lebanese families throughout the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon.
In addition, two new Salam LADC projects were officially launched, with the start of a new educational project and the purchase of our new bus. While all this was going on, our usual educational and social programs continued to provide valuable services to settlements and local communities.
This week’s food distribution was boosted to a record 522 bags (up from 98 the previous week). This incredible number was reached thanks to a single daily distribution of 450 bags, made possible by generous donations from Sweden. Salam LADC volunteer Carl-Fredrik Hedengren not only raised these donations, but was also in the field in the Beqaa for the purchase and distribution in six refugee settlements. In addition, Salam LADC’s weekly food distribution consisted of 72 bags delivered in two settlements, 56 of which were donated by our local partner Syrian Eyes عيون سورية. Each bag is intended to provide sufficient basic ingredients for a family for one month.
Following extensive donations from The Highlands Support Refugees and the High Wycombe - Donations for refugees group from the UK, two 40ft containers cleared customs this week. Our Salam LADC volunteers together with Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs staff set to work unloading, sorting and packing the contents of these containers for distribution in the municipalities of Rachaya and El Marj. In Rachaya, where the High Wycombe container was distributed, a total of 510 Syrian and 120 Lebanese families received clothing and additional items such as baby carriers, strollers, toys, cots, and high quality shoes from Sal's Shoes. The Highlands Support Refugees container was distributed in El Marj, reaching 650 Syrian and 200 Lebanese families with clothing, shoes, toys and other items. The system for the distributions, free warehouse space, list of families in need and the invitations to distribution point was done by our good friends from the Ministry of Social Affairs. Both of these distributions were made possible thanks to the financial support from One Nation, who funded the transportation of the containers from departure point to distribution. Women and teenage girls are often considered as one of the most vulnerable group of refugees in Lebanon.
This week, in response to requests from settlement communities, we launched a pilot project aiming to provide English classes to women and girls aged 11-22 years. Our first week saw 15 students attending Lou La Klo and Laran Matta’s classes, which will continue to take place twice a week in the community centre in El Marj. In parallel, we continued our regular basic numeracy and literacy classes for 5-12 year olds in the UNHCR Embedded Community Centres, while fun outdoor activities were as usual part of the Play with Purpose project.
In conclusion, thanks to our volunteers, donors and supportive partners at the local and international levels, Salam LADC’s distributions of food and non-food items have directly brought benefit to around two thousand families, while our educational programs have positively impacted hundreds of young refugees.
Finally, some exciting news about Salam LADC’s new investment: the Salamat Bus Project is now underway! The former school bus we just purchased will be transformed into a mobile library, educational and entertainment centre, where we will run activities and classes for kids and adults. Our volunteers are coming up with a lot of creative ideas to get this bus tuned!
Text & Editing by Chris Feigl and Justine Boillat