Last week’s explosion in the port of Beirut has left 158 people dead, thousands injured and more than 300,000 people homeless. It’s a tragedy that has left many wondering how they can help.
Chichester based charity, Children on the Edge is urgently appealing for donations to provide emergency relief on the ground for those affected.
Even before the explosion the people of Lebanon were enduring significant political and economic crisis, and the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, hospitals are heavily damaged and vital food supplies stored at the ports have been wiped out entirely.
Hospitals are unable to treat everyone, andpeople are being treated in the streets. Children on the Edge and their local partners, Triumphant Mercy, are responding immediately, working all hours at the blast site, distributing food for volunteer workers, helping with the clean up, and providing medical care in the streets and in people’s homes.
Nuna Matar, the project lead in Lebanon, said: “We are getting organised! We’re based in front of the hospital, we just opened a tent there, we have tables and we’re bringing food and water. We’re getting a truck to take the rubble and we’ve divided ourselves into teams. Some are helping in homes, some are in the seven floor hospital removing rubble. We have nurses giving medical help too. It’s good that we can do something and be of help.”
Children on the Edge has been working with Triumphant Mercy, a small Lebanese organisation, for five years, providing education for 500 Syrian refugee children living in informal settlements in the Bekaa Valley.
Chichester churches, schools and individuals have been instrumental in providing funding over this time, supporting refugee schools and communities and Nuna Matar has regularly visited Chichester to update supporters.
Eloise Armstrong, Children on the Edge fundraising manager, said: “We are so encouraged that many Chichester residents have supported our work with Syrian refugees in Lebanon over the last five years.
“The Lebanese people and the refugees living in Beirut need our support now more than ever. We are so thankful to everyone who has already been in touch with donations – it’s helped us to respond immediately and we are appealing now for anyone who like to donate to visit our website and see how our teams are working on the ground.”
You can make a donation to the appeal by visiting the Children on the Edge website: childrenontheedge.org or calling 01243 538 530.