Providing food, masks, blankets and heaters to families and firefighters affected by the blast in Beirut, Lebanon, 4 August 2020.
On the 4th of August 2020, many lives changed forever. Our beloved city, Beirut, witnessed what can be considered as one of the most horrific explosions to ever happen in history. At around 6PM that evening, a fire started at the port of the Lebanese capital. A team of firefighters was called to respond on site. Little did they know that a few minutes later, a huge explosive chemical was going to wipe off half the city, impacting thousands of people: taking the lives of some, injuring others, and leaving many Lebanese families homeless. Little did they know that they were being sent to their last mission that night.
Lebanon lost ten of their firefighters that day, along other Lebanese who were close to the explosion site. Words cannot describe this tragedy. Deep grief and shock filled Beirut and our hearts following that massive explosion, and still does.
The number of losses is devastating. Almost 200 people lost their lives and there was an average of 15 billion dollars of losses in house damages, leaving around 300 000 citizens homeless. A true disaster, on top of the on-going crisis that the country is still facing and on top of a global pandemic and a failing economy. We saw our dear capital collapse before our eyes this year. What a tough year!
Sometimes it feels like there is no way out. Sometimes we feel hopeless. But the resilience of the Lebanese people is unmatched. There is no tough period that we cannot overcome. With a little help, everything is possible, even rising from the ashes, stronger than ever.
Multiple organizations and volunteers, local and non-local, gathered donations and initiated relief campaigns to renovate severely affected houses and provide basic necessities to families who have lost everything following that tragic event.
In memory of the heroes that we lost that day, Rotaract is constantly calling for help and providing relief funds to help rebuild the city, as much as possible. Nothing can bring back who and what we lost, but there’s a minimum we can do, together, to make things better and regain hope, for us, and for our Beirut.
A couple of months ago, we lit candles with members of the Firefighters Department for the lives that were lost in Beirut's blast. The department was also brutally damaged due to the blast and it needs tremendous assistance.
Multiple countries showed the greatest levels of compassion and support. We've been receiving warm messages and wishes from all over the world. We are grateful for it all, and once again, we wish nothing but better days for dearest Lebanon.
Rotaract Club of Beirut Center,
The Rotaract Club of Beirut Center has been actively involved in aid relief from the very first days of the blast and has collaborated with on the ground NGOs collecting data and assessing needs. They are now focussed on distributing Love Boxes which contain foodstuffs, masks, blankets and heaters to families and firefighters affected by the blast. The project was launched on 9 December and these selfless Rotaractors are working in shifts to gather all items for the Love Boxes (approximately 50) to be distributed before Christmas. Kindness in Action has donated $1750 USD for this effort and hopes to fund more Love Boxes in the coming weeks and months. (Please note that families are selected based on need and the Rotaractors personally deliver the Love Boxes to each home in their vehicles.)
Please consider supporting our global family in Beirut by donating to this Rotaract initiative.
Rotaract clubs bring together people ages 18-30 to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills and have fun through service. In communities worldwide, Rotary and Rotaract members work side by side to take action through service