Project Description

Help for orphans in Lebanon

The situation in the country

Hotspot Lebanon: The terrible explosion in August 2020 not only destroyed part of the city of Beirut and made thousands of people homeless to this day, but also brought about an ongoing government crisis. This created a massive shortage of supplies, there was a lack of food, gasoline, electricity, medicines and much more. In some places there is no access to water.

In addition to the government crisis and the shortage of supplies, over 1.5 million Syrians found refuge in Lebanon due to its geographical location between Syria and Israel. In addition, there are around 500,000 Palestinian refugees in the country, which is roughly the size of Upper Austria. Local NGOs try to help those in need.

Our help on site

In mid-October 2021, we set out with a 9-person aid team to Lebanon to help refugee orphans on site. Our team was a colorful mix of artists, clowns, musicians and volunteers. They all had the common goal of giving the children joy of life through their artistic shows and confidence through the distribution of donated relief goods.

Encounter by laughing together

This time the caravan of clowns was supported by the ” Clowns without Borders eV ” from Germany. The aid team visited refugee camps, where hundreds of children often have to live on their own. These children have probably seldom or never before seen adults who just had two or three hours of fun with them. The adults in the camps have other tasks to deal with …

The time after the shows was at least as valuable for the children as the clowning and the art of blowing bubbles. Clown Anita told how the children melted away when she painted little make-up on their faces with a brush or, even better, with her finger. How important the smallest, tender touches are for us humans was also shown in a camp in the mountains of Lebanon: After the show, some children began to hug the clowns, which happened more often. That afternoon, however, it turned into a real “hug orgy”. The children stood in rows to be hugged and held by Anita, Heiko, Stefan, Sonja, Elke, Markus, Pascal, Aramis and Bruno. Many of them had closed their eyes tightly, smiled blissfully and would have loved to never let go.

Help for the forgotten in the refugee camps

This longing for closeness and security got an even deeper meaning through the stories of the mothers: They fled on foot from their Syrian home villages only 20 km away. They were followed by bombers as far as the Syrian-Lebanese border. Unfortunately, some of them failed to make it to safe Lebanon … Since the beginning of the economic crisis in Lebanon, the need in the camps has been increasing day by day. The people who have so far stood up for the refugees are now fighting for their own existence in Lebanon. The Lebanese middle class is preoccupied with its own economic worries and thoughts of emigration. What remains for the refugees in these camps is a feeling of being forgotten.

The mothers look ahead to the next winter, perplexed and with no prospects. It is already clear which children are strong enough to survive the cold up here in the mountains and which children are too weak and run the risk of freezing to death. Firewood can hardly be found in this barren semi-desert, so they are dependent on the expensive heating oil for the small oil stoves in their tents. The team of the Caravan of Humanity decided on site to use € 6,000 of the donations to finance at least some families with fuel for the winter. It costs only € 5 per person to be able to heat in the coldest month. With our donation, we can help 1,200 people (including 1,000 children) not to have to freeze for a month.

A drop in the ocean

The aid team distributed almost 13 tons of relief supplies such as shoes, clothing, medicine and school supplies to the people in the camps. Each and every one of the team on site financed their entire flight, accommodation and meals themselves, so 100% of the € 17,000 donated money could be used for the refugees in Lebanon.

Bruno Maul, professional photographer and one of the helpers on site, about his work in Lebanon: “It was only now when I was looking through the pictures at home that I became aware of the full scope of our activities. With our donations and our help, we actually save human lives from freezing to death. Even if everything is just a drop in the ocean, a few more of these faces that I am currently looking at on my screen can still smile and shine next year. “

Anyone who would like to give the people of Lebanon warmth to survive the coming winter is cordially invited to help. Together we set a sign of humanity!

Our donation account:
Caravan of Humanity, Raiffeisenbank Güssing
IBAN: AT14 3302 7000 0002 3408, BIC: RLBBAT2E027

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“Even if everything is just a drop in the ocean, with our donations and our on-site help, we actually save human lives from freezing to death.”

BRUNO MAUL • ON-SITE TEAM

Photos from our aid operation in Lebanon

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