For a while now, our citizens in Lebanon have been taken upon themselves to bring the positive changes they wish to see in their country. These individuals are simple people like you and me, wishing to bring Lebanon’s standard a step, or a few, forward.
They tend to gather around a vision they share; not for the purpose of socializing or complaining about its non-existence in the physicality or blaming the government for it, but to team up and make it happen.
And starting from nothing other than their strong belief in a better Lebanon, they have been indeed manifesting their visions on the ground, proving to all that we, the people, can be the change we want in our country.
Whether they managed to raise funds by themselves to start and carry on or whether they convinced major entities to support them along the way, they have thrived to implement their goals at a larger scale.
We are talking here about entire areas in Lebanon that were lacking or needed improvement and that the work of these passionate citizens impacted at, and through, the offset of the implications of their initiatives. Let’s take a look:
The state of animals in Lebanon has drastically improved in comparison to previous years. Not only did Lebanon pass its first animal rights law in 2017 due to the commemorable implementations of these citizens teaming in NGOs, but has also been taking in the abandoned, strayed animals on the streets while also treating them and giving them a home.
Animals of all kinds, ranging from domestic to wildlife, have been looked after and taken care upon the establishment of said law. The law, passed by parliament on August 16, 2017, outlines requirements for the keep of domestic pets, regulations for zoos and pet shops, and penalties for violations—including jail time and fines!
No secret the struggles and hardships that Lebanon has been going through for some time now when it comes to the environmental aspect. Ever since the waste crisis back in 2015, the unbearable situation in the country has scarred Lebanon and harmed our people. Brutal as it was, and bad as it is still, it brought us an alarming wake-up call to which many citizens rushed to heed.
Highly concerned about the environmental aspect of Lebanon, these fellow Lebanese citizens, gathered in and around foundations and NGOs, took a big step forward. They believed that their actions could pave the way towards a cleaner future and a healthier, more hygienic lifestyle and behaviors.
The motivation of our Lebanese society to get involved in making a difference has significantly increased. More and more individuals are stepping in at the call for help to improve our surrounding. Caring for our country hasn’t been as remarkable as in the past years with some many citizens hitting the streets to join hands.
A small two-person endeavor that has made a huge impact in that aspect is The Volunteer Circle. Not only have they established themselves as a free agency between the public and the charitable projects and initiatives, but they have also been an abundant source of supply of help and assistance to these organizations, ensuring the achievement of these projects.
That agency-like, founded and managed by two young Lebanese women, has gone even a step forward, educating our society on the importance to others and to one’s self-growth to contribute of themselves to their human fellows, their society, and their country.
Since 2016, they have been motivating our citizens, young and not so young, to volunteer helping in projects of their choice, raising their sense of humanity and patriotism.
When it comes to the topic of Human Rights, Lebanon has gradually become more open-minded and accepting towards people of various ethnicities and backgrounds.
And that is due to the relentless work of Lebanese individuals, like you and me, teaming in groups we call human rights NGOs. They have strived to reach a higher level of fairness where all human beings in Lebanon, residing and working, can have the basic fundamental rights as human beings.
We have been witnessing major changes, some even radical, in Lebanon in that regard. Ever since the abolishment of article 522 concerning rape victims due to its loophole, Lebanon has shown a higher human consciousness towards its women, pledging by law to serve them and protect them fairly and equally to men.
Other gender-bias marital laws have been also changing. And that has all started with people like you and me who wanted the change and believed that we, the people, can bring it.
Lebanon might still have a long way to go when it comes to adjusting some of its archaic laws and ensuring the well-being of all its people equally. However, we can’t possibly deny the major changes that are being implemented and are causing our society to evolve and our environment to improve.
And the massive impact is being done by groups of Lebanese people in NGOs. They have believed, have held strongly to that belief, and have taken action, even against the deemed impossible.