Our Emergency Beirut Appeal is now live.
BEIRUT EMERGENCY APPEAL
FACE is working in partnership with its sister branch, l’Oeuvre d’Orient, to support a school that has been severely damaged in the explosion.
The School of the Immaculate Conception, Beirut
For over 130 years, the school, which is run by the Daughters of Charity, has provided free education (infant, primary and secondary) and a daily hot meal to generations of children from socially disadvantaged families. Situated near the port of Beirut, its premises had only just been renovated and the school had re-opened its doors in 2019. But the explosion has destroyed all that good work, causing structural damage to the external and internal walls, doors and windows, and destroying 80% of the internal fixtures and equipment.
Thankfully no children were inside the school at the time of the explosion. Tragically, one of the teachers, Sister Sophie Khosrovian, was killed and 18 of the school’s staff lost their homes.
Why we need your help
As a result of the explosion, the school is now too dangerous for use and has been forced to close. The pupils are deprived of their education and daily hot meal. For many pupils, it is their only meal of the day. Without our charitable support, the school will have to close permanently.
To repair the school buildings and to provide tuition fees and hot meals for the poorest pupils in the coming year we need to raise £1.2 million.
Sister Marlène Youssef, the Superior of the Immaculate Conception School, told us:
“We must get the school up and running again, and not give up. 500 of our pupils have already removed the debris in the school, in hopeful anticipation that the builders will come and make good the damage. I praise the dear Lord for the gift of our young helpers and volunteers! Our angel from Heaven, Sister Sophie, who was killed by the explosion, will be our guardian angel to get us started again, in spite of the chaos, destruction and misery that surrounds us. We put our faith in Providence to guide our school’s mission to a more hopeful future”.
Your donation will be used to support:
- Structural repairs to the school buildings (walls, roofs, windows, doors)
- Restoring water and electricity supplies
- Re-equipping the classrooms (desks, chairs, teaching/learning materials)
- Pupils’ tuition fees and hot meals for 400 socially deprived pupils (85% Christian/15% Muslim) for 12 months.
Fellowship and Aid to the Christians of the East (FACE) strives to preserve the heritage of Eastern Christians by enabling them to stay in their homelands where Christianity was born and first spread. Eastern Christians remain a living testament to the roots and legitimacy of the Christian presence in Arabic society, and continue to be mediators of peace and a force for good in the Middle East, as well as a source of inspiration to Western Christians. FACE supports the work of the bishops, priests, and religious of the Eastern Churches by offering grant aid to their local projects in education, health, alleviation of poverty, ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, to the benefit of all, regardless of faith or race.
FACE Charity enables Eastern Christians:
- to remain in their homelands, where Christianity was born and first spread;
- to rebuild their homes and communities;
- to secure the maintenance of their churches, schools and hospitals;
- to create educational opportunities for all, regardless of faith;
- to offer healthcare and pastoral support in their multi-faith communities;
- to promote ecumenical and interreligious dialogue;
- to be peacemakers in their multi-faith communities;
- to be a force for good in bridging divisions between the different faiths of the region;
- to strengthen the pastoral bonds with Western Christians.