In Lebanon, poverty does not strike only at isolated rural communities but extends its shadow to the heart of the capital. In popular neighbourhoods such as in Bourj Hammoud garbage piles up, pollution is suffocating, unsanitary buildings are like to industrial wastelands.


Traditionally occupied by the Armenian community, this neighborhood has recently hosted many Christians fleeing their country at war. This is where the volunteers of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient visit poor families, to try to meet their immediate needs, but also listen to their testimony, to share moments of conviviality, and provide them with support from French families.

All these families have a lot to teach us, whether it is tenacity, a thirst for learning and personal discipline, and the love of family whose joy allows overcoming material difficulties...

Among these people is the Aboulpaoudin family,whose history is at the crossroads of the most represented communities in Bourj Hammoud; their destiny tragic. Archo and Katchig Aboulapoudian have three sons: Kevork, Vrej and Sevag, respectively 7, 5 and 4 years old. Both of Armenian origin, Archo, who is Lebanese, joined her husband, a Syrian, in Aleppo, where the family remained until 2011. With the coming of the war, they stopped visiting the family of Katchig to avoid exposing their children to violence. A trained mechanic, Katchig then tried, like thousands of others, to find work in Beirut.


To offer schooling to their three sons, the household has been cast into deep debt. Despite its precarious situation and difficulties in supporting his family’s own needs, Archo Aboulapoudian receives volunteers with the generous hospitality of those who have nothing but share everything. Kevork, Vrej and Sevag were delighted with these new companions, to whom they entrusted their dreams and passions. Kevork likes to read, especially the history of Armenian National Heroes like Saint Vardan Mamikonian, defender of Armenian Christianity against the Sassanid, and David of Sassoun, conqueror of the Turks. In the absence of material heritage, Armenian identity and pride are a cultural and spiritual heritage to which the young people of Bourj Hammoud can relate. Vrej, just as studious, prefers math and football and would like to have a cab when he will be older. Their Father started to pass on them some basic mechanics.


The help we can bring to these families is very little compared to their immense needs, but they tell us often that, knowing that French families think of them, want to help them and pray for them, the fact they hold them in the hearts means so much.


It is you, who by your gifts today cause the radiant smiles of these children. Help us spread this joy tomorrow to the poorest families in Lebanon.



Volunteering is a commitment for a defined period. The volunteer is committed to a mission to serve others. To volunteer at SOS Chrétiens d’Orient you must:

- be older than 18 years old

- stay for a minimum for 1 month

- being in good physical shape

- have parental agreement for a possible departure

"I ask you to be revolutionary. Have the courage to go to counter-current. And also have the courage to be happy!" Pope Francis, July 28, speech to the volunteers of the WYD, Rio de Janeiro.

"I ask you to be revolutionaries. Have the courage to go against the grain. And have the courage to be happy!"

Pope Francis,

July 28, speech to WYD volunteers, Rio de Janeiro.