Our actions Lebanon

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.

Click on the location points to see the activities of our different missions Lebanon

Maps of the missions

Dispensary of the Cedars for the Lebanese forgotten

sos chretiens orient Lebanon

Emergency, health emergency, humanitarian emergency, economic emergency, social emergency, Lebanon is more than ever in a situation of emergency. The unemployment rate exceeds 60%, famili...

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Dispensary of the Cedars for the Lebanese forgotten

Emergency, health emergency, humanitarian emergency, economic emergency, social emergency, Lebanon is more than ever in a situation of emergency. The unemployment rate exceeds 60%, families living below the poverty line reach 45% of the population, the value of the Lebanese pound has decreased by 350%. Lebanon is facing multiple crises, unable to overcome all of these additional evils. The unpredictable epidemic, which is relatively contained within Lebanon, only reinforces the economic crisis that is already under way. It makes the already poor families poorer, isolates the already lonely elderly and weakens the sick. The Lebanese, exhausted for more than a year by a crisis that has dragged on for a long time, are now well and truly ruined. Health care has become a luxury to be renounced for the most essential thing: feeding oneself.

The misery we live alongside is increasing every day. It is accompanied by growing bitterness, despite the ineffable "joie de vivre" of its inhabitants. Of this multi-century people, entrepreneurial, proud navigator and founder of innumerable cities around the Mediterranean, only a few remain, so much history has shaken them. Many of our Lebanese friends recount the recent wars that Lebanon has been through, but never, never have they experienced anything worse than this pandemic.


Economic crisis and Coronavirus: To the aid of the poorest Lebanese families.

In the south of Lebanon, on the Israeli border, Rmeich is the largest but also one of the only Christian villages south of the country, the rest of the region being primarily Muslim.

Can you project yourself into the daily life of Lebanese Christians on the border? Do you really know what is happening there? We know that this region has seen many conflicts, that life has been troubled until very recently. But the daily life of the inhabitants of these regions remains unknown. What if you knew? Do you think you could become fully aware of what this means?

Since 2017, volunteers from SOS Chrétiens d'Orient, with the help of Jacques, a Franco-Lebanese, have been working for the people of Rmeich and the surrounding villages. With the economic crisis hitting the country, the Lebanese would have glady avoided a pandemic undermining the few sources of income they have left.

Many families are no longer able to feed themselves and live in the minimum hygienic conditions necessary to fight the coronavirus.


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 of the economic stability. During the civil war, many fires have led to deforestation.

Today, it is a victim of the emigration of Christian families and struggles to maintain its historical and spiritual identity. For this reason, the Lebanese association Al-Nawraj called on SOS Chrétiens d'Orient to help them to expand the Christian school of Kobayat.


A tractor for the farmers in Alma.

In the district of Zgharta, for more than a century, the Maronite Christians and Sunni in Alma earn their living from fertile agricultural land. Due to armed conflict, arable land were abandoned. Surrounded by imposing rocks and weeds, they are now totally unproductive. Isolated clearing work will not be sufficient to ensure a sustainable culture of these plots of land.


Fight heat in the Church of Saint Elie

The Church of Saint-Elie, located in the town of Bhamdoun, was built in 1950 under the direction of Father Joseph Assaf, Maronite priest. After being destroyed during the Shuf War in September 1983, it was entirely rebuilt by Father Joseph and inaugurated in 2014, on the day of the parish feast. But in the meantime, many Christian families have preferred exile and exodus to war. This is an alarming situation for Father Bakhos, successor of Father Joseph.


Renovate the sanitary facilities of the school of Saint Elijah

Bhamdoun, a town in the Lamartine Valley on the road to Damascus, still bears the marks of the recent war. On the road, buildings riddled with bullets struggle to stand up, and testify the violence that the Christian population were subjected to throughout the civil war, including the hunt of the Christians in Bhamdoun in 1983. This is the reason why William, a city official, invited us to visit the Maronite school of Saint Elijah, where we were then welcomed by Sister Agathe, the school principal.


A summer camp for the lebanese children

In Lebanon, the equilibrium acquired since the short war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006 remains fragile. More than two million Palestinian, Syrian and Iraqi refugees are now added to the four million Lebanese. This massive arrival poses serious economic problems, especially since the heavy past of Lebanon with its neighboring countries is still alive and historical tensions very real.

Many families today are distraught with isolation and poverty in Lebanon and many children are not allowed to go on holiday during the summer.

SOS Chrétiens d'Orient decided to organize summer camps to bring children out of their daily environment, which is sometimes difficult, to give them a smile and to create new friendships.


Fight hunger

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.


Emergency families in Tripoli

In Tripoli, a city full of joy, the walls are riddled with bullets. Martyrs’ pictures hanging from the balconies bear witness to a painful past and poverty is blatant. Christians suffered from the war between the Sunni and Alawite communities which ravaged the city since January 2008. Forty-five years ago, Christians represented 75 % of the population of Tripoli whilst today they are only 25 % of it.