Beirut Appeal

On 4 August, a massive explosion destroyed the port of Beirut. Across the Lebanese capital, homes and businesses were reduced to rubble. Over 200 people died. Thousands more have been injured or are missing. Some 300,000 people remain homeless. More than half of the population is now trapped in poverty and nearly one in three are unemployed. Food and medical supplies are in short supply. The crisis has been intensified by the surging coronavirus pandemic.

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”.

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. 


Your donations will be used to support: 

Translation from Arabic: From the bottom of my heart, peace to Beruit.

Drawing by Mohammed Eltaki of the Immaculate Conception School Beirut.