Emdad commitee for Islamic Charity

The Emdad commitee for Islamic Charity is a charitable NGO started by Hizbullah to alleviate social hardship in that part of the Lebanese population most affected by the Israeli occupation of the south of the country.

Note: The following text is from a handout provided by Mr. Jacob Qasir, public relations officer with the Emdad Aid Agency during a visit to their main office in Haret Hreyk, Beirut - May 9, 1998
- Børre Ludvigsen, ed. Al Mashriq

Small alms box

In the Name of allah

Report about the advance and the help of Emdad commitee for Islamic Charity until date of 31/3/1997

It is the pleasure of the "lmdad Association of the Islamic Philanthropic Committee" to submit to you a briefing about its social and development activities in the poor suburban and needy areas as well as in the fields of child welfare, mainly orphans and poor. The association was established in Lebanon in 1987, by law nb. 85/A.D. It became a public welfare association by a presidential decree under the number 5829/1994 for its important social and welfare activities in all Lebanese areas - mainly those remote areas in the South, which are constantly shelled by Israeli troops, and in regions where the presence of government services is scarce if non existing. Many families suffered during the Lebanese war and some still are. Their suffering persists and sometimes increase on the financial, educational and social levels. For this reason the association tried its best to minimize the sufferings of those families and cover their needs especially in rural and neglected areas. Most of these rural and neglected areas were the refuge for many families when displaced by the Lebanese war or by Israeli bombardment and shelling.

© Børre Ludvigsen, 1998

From Emdad's offices.

The association's slogan was from the beginning "Support the destitute and the needy". Its activities covered in a few years all Lebanese regions. It established 9 branches, 5 schools and two care centers for handicapped children. The major objective of this association is to support and help families with no supporter or breadwinner. These families include those with a father who died or is detained or missing or suffers from a chronic disease. Families with social problems (divorce, handicap or permanent handicap or impoverished) can benefit from our services. The main condition to be included in our support program is the lack of any type of financial support. The exception will be during times of war and displacement where all enduring families are helped regardless of their religious or political status.

The association provides services in the following domains:

  1. Financial aids
  2. Donations in kind
  3. Health care
  4. Education and recreation
  5. Social
  6. Orphans
  7. Emergencies
  8. Income generating programs
  9. Donations

For each one of those domains their is a specialized team to study and assess the needs of the families. The working teams consist of a specialized staff and a great number of volunteers. Each team has two objectives, the first is educational and guidance while the second is field implementation and support.

Alms boxes

1. Financial aids

Our financial aid consists on providing the basic financial need. According to our social studies and experience, we found that the cause of most of the families poor conditions is due to low educational standard and knowledge and the tendency to look for luxury items instead of fulfilling basic family needs. For this reason we provide a small financial aid per month for each family and we cover in return many other needs (education, health care, cultural awareness, food supplies and household goods).

2. Donations in kind

These donations include the following:

  • Food assistance according to a yearly plan (3 to 4 times per year)
  • Household necessities (carpets, refrigerator, kitchen utensils, blankets, mattresses, etc...
  • Clothes for children according to need
  • Medicines and other necessary medical products
  • Orthopedics for handicapped
  • Stationary and school books

These aids are immediately distributed to rescued families during natural disasters and displacement in war time.

A mother of twelve.

3. Health care

The health team has two roles:

  • Awareness and education for poor families who are ignorant of many basic health rules most of the time.
  • Follow-up of medical cases from home to dispensary to hospital and follow up of any medical or legal procedures (papers for the National Social Security Fund, etc... ).

The association has several dispensaries were they can do follow-ups and medical transfer for patient and provision of medicines at very low cost. This could not have been done without the support of many doctors and pharmacies who offer special discounts for the families registered in our program. This procedure is a great indirect support of the association's yearly budget otherwise the association would become a medical provider for those families only. Medical revisions are about 11,250 per year (medicine, transfer, medical checkup, operations...

Keys to alms boxes.

4. Education and recreation

The education team makes a complete basic need assessment for the registered families. It provides school grants, stationary and books. It also offers educational guidance programs and academic support whereby a member of the education team will voluntarily or for a low wage give private lessons for the children who need school assistance. The educational committee will do follow ups for the students from school to graduation and helps in providing them with jobs opportunities especially for vocational and technical graduates. The number of beneficiary students is 6,850 from both sexes and from all of Lebanon among them 3,320 orphans.

This committee has established several educational settings which are:

9 Educational Training Center for school teachers and directors

Educational Compound near Mashgara, West Beqaa, for 1,300 students from kindergarten to BaccII.

Purchase of a non profit school in the suburbs of Tripoli, North Lebanon, for 300 students.

Moaysara Secondary school in the suburbs of Byblos for 500 students.

Imam secondary school at Kafaat, Beirut suburb, for 2,500 students.

Imam Khomeini permanent camp for sports, education and recreational activities in the suburbs of Baalbeck. It is a highly equipped camp that receives more than 2,000 students in spring and summer times. This camp is widely used for deprived and orphaned children. It is also used by other schools, associations, youth groups and family groups.

Rehabilitation Center for mentally handicapped children in Nabatieh, South Lebanon. This center serves 95 children. What is typical about this center is the rehabilitation program and family support it provides at the vicinity of the home from birth.

Another center in Baalbeck-Hermel area is established with boarding facilities.

The education group organizes trips abroad for brilliant students in their schools. These trips are sponsored by the Imam's Assistance Committee in Tehran or by local donors.

The associations started in the planning of the establishment of 6 schools and educational compounds for deprived children and handicapped.

Counting collection money.

5. Social welfare and guidance programs

This program provides social and emotional support through guidance and recreational programs and activities. It also provides training sessions in different fields (cultural, artistic, educational, vocational skills ... ). The social awareness and training include all family members.

The social team made a social survey for 5 1,000 poor families located in the suburbs of Beirut, the South, Beqaa, North and Mount Lebanon. These families were distributed into 10 categories of impoverishment status according to the financial status, income generation and household level. For the time being we can afford to provide services only for the first category because if we add to it the second category the number of families in need will sharply increase to 11,000 which is a number of families we cannot afford to help due to the limited budget we have.

There is a social custody program to care for the families of prisoners and drug addicts. This program is looking after 40 children from those families. It provides for them education, psychological and social support and all the needs of any family with no breadwinner.

Sponsorship form for an orphan.

(The complete orphan's card for sponsorship.)

6. Orphans

The association provides sponsors to support indigent orphans. The association is the link between the sponsor and these families. The role of the association is to provide all what the family needs from food supply, clothing, shelter, education,... Besides these, it gives monthly subsidies for orphans and school grants (for orphans with no sponsor). The most important part of this program is the human bond and relation between the association and the sponsor from one side and the orphans from the other side through routine home visits. These home visits are done by the director of the association, the staff and volunteers and most important of all the donor or sponsor. This will increase the level of social responsibility and participation between different parts of the society and therefore enhance civic awareness. One of the major goals of the social welfare program is to prevent any family disintegration after the father's death, to keep the child in his home and provide him with all the needs to preserve as much as possible his social integrity and emotional balance.

For the time being 3,448 orphans profit from our social welfare program, 2,183 have local or foreign sponsors or donors.

Emdad's logo

7. Emergencies

There is a stand by emergency team to directly act in the following cases:

  1. Occasional passengers or travelers who cannot continue their journey either to their destination or back home due to loss of subsidies or for other disabling reasons.
  2. Accidents and natural disasters
  3. Displacement due to war activities mainly Israeli aggressions in the South and West Beqaa areas.

This team has special characteristic

  1. It is always on full alert for any action to provide any equipment or material supplies in emergency cases with a full emotional and psychological support for the families in crisis.
  2. highly qualified personnel with fine personal characteristics to overcome any contingency (endurance, tolerance, positive attitude,).

During the Israeli aggressions of July 1993 this team provided help, shelter and assistance for 9,136 families consisting of 45,519 members. During the aggressions of April 1996 it provided assistance for 8,393 families consisting of 42,529 members. It also provided emergency supplies for 298 displaced families (1,258 members) whose houses were destroyed. These donations consisted of refrigerators, gas cooker, house utensils, etc...

8. Income generating programs

This program trains people with working abilities to become productive members of the society. The association has a specialized team to study such projects and provide convenient training sessions such as carpet weaving, sewing and other artistic crafts. The following is a list of some of the income generating projects:

  • Bee keeping
  • Cattle farming
  • Carpet weaving
  • Set up of a shop
  • Jobs

This project is only concerned with families whose supporter is missing or died or is permanently handicapped and where the mother or one of the children has working abilities or skills to be developed.

The number of families registered in this program is 820 families. The percentage of success of different income generating projects varied widely for example: 65% success in jobs 35% Starting an entrepreneurial project (shop opening... This low percentage is due mainly to low educational and cultural status and the loss of working spirituality and endurance. 70% Carpet weaving

192 out of the 820 families are now self sufficient and are generating income, i.e. we have 14.5% of the families achieved attained financial independence.

The most important event in this program is the yearly exhibition to show the products of these working families.

Social integration and participation is of utmost importance to implement any part of our work, program or service. This method increases social acceptance and lenience between neighbors and it enhances benevolent actions toward deprived families in a proper manner.

During the past years approximately 911 houses (3,449 family member) were rebuilt or restored in rural areas. The association provided the principal materials and neighbors provided help as much as they can either by direct help or by the provision of missing materials or workers.

The total number of registered families in the past 9 years is approximately 48,500 (157,200 members). The total financial aids given to these families was $9,757, 683 . We should keep in mind that this amount does not include educational settings, occasional beneficiaries, elders, etc...

Nowadays, we are facing financial resources problems because the demands are becoming higher and we are not able to allocate funds for the already registered families and more for new ones. For this reason we decreased the number of registered families during the past few years.

For example in	1988 we served 3,524 families (13,201 
	1991	8,007	(25,730 member)
	1995/6	3,188 	(9,313 member)

Our services are delivered in 8 branches: Beirut suburbs, Tyr, Sidon, Nabatieh, West Beqaa, and Hermel.

Cases served are: orphans, elders, families of prisoners and drug addicts, divorced women, disabled persons, patients, occasional displaced.

We face several difficulties in our program which are the following:

  1. A decreasing budget due to shortage in subsidies, donations and inflation.
  2. Inability to reach families at risk near front lines in the South and West Beqaa.
  3. Insufficient governmental services and from public sector and reliance on the private sector to deliver services for the poor, orphan and handicapped.
  4. Lack of sufficient transportation means mainly to deliver material donations. The need for more vehicles and transportation means is increasing because more demands and services are required.

As a conclusion the association is trying its best to deliver as much as possible to the deprived section of the society but with shortage of oncoming resources the work is becoming harder. Despite this fact we try to rely on all our human resources to at least provide these persons and families with emotional and social support through guidance and awareness campaigns.

        Public relation office
        Imdad committee for islamic Charity

T: +961-1.274640/1 - FAX :+961-1-274636
(P.R.O: +961-3-388387)


al@mashriq                       980907/bl