Meet The Lebanese People Who Raised Over $8 Million For Beirut Relief

AFP l flohusseini

Article updated on 10/02/2020

During these tough times in Lebanon, most local NGOs and Lebanese in the diaspora have rushed to help people affected by the Beirut blast and the economic deterioration.

Among them is Impact Lebanon, an initiative incubator for driven Lebanese people around the world. It has been doing exceptional work in helping Lebanon and its capital get back on their feet.

While the organization didn’t launch recently, its work has been most remarkably relevant after August 4th. However, well organized as they were ahead of the event, its teams were already in action the moment the disaster befell on Beirut.

And they haven’t stopped since then.

Impact Lebanon was formed as an NGO “to pursue initiatives that deliver impact for Lebanon,” and mobilize effectively.

And that what they have been actively doing ever since; from seminars, mentorship programs, fundraisers, launching initiatives, supporting others’ initiatives, providing reliefs during the pandemic and the Beirut disaster, to addressing the leaders of the international community for Lebanon, and so on.

The organization, which has over 150 active members, has completed in less than a year 23 revolutionary, humanitarian, environmental, and disaster relief initiatives, and are currently working on 16 other projects, as of the time of writing.

“We have teamed up with trusted partners on a number of initiatives aimed at pooling resources and talents together in support of immediate and long-term needs created by the explosion,” Impact Lebanon states on its website.

The961 got in touch with the team who explained that this organization was born from the Lebanese revolution. “Following the October 2019 revolution, a group of Lebanese expats in London came together to develop projects for Lebanon.”

The team, which consists of members across three continents, went on to support Lebanon and its people during the most critical times.

“Following the August 4th blast, Impact Lebanon started a fundraiser to provide disaster relief for Beirut. The fundraiser quickly gained an international reach and was endorsed by global public figures like Bella Hadid, Lewis Hamilton, and Rihanna,” they told us.

“We have raised over £6.3M to date, which is being allocated to local NGOs working on the reconstruction of Beirut, on the rehabilitation of the medical sector, and on supporting the people on the ground.”

As heartbroken as they were after the explosion, they knew they had to act fast to help their people. “When the blast happened, there was a surge in this powerful, collective determination to help. We knew there was a lot of work to be done and it had to be done quickly.”

As they told The961, they actually launched their Disaster Relief Fundraiser on the same evening of the explosion on August 4th.

Since then “Impact Lebanon team has been working relentlessly and diligently, around the clock, to accomplish a thorough and transparent fund allocation, all the while maintaining solid communications about our work.”

“We know that the Lebanese people have been suffering for years, but this blast has brought an unimaginable level of destruction to our city and our people, and our hearts still ache about it every day.”

Joining their voices with the people in Lebanon, very early in the revolution, the organization has been raising awareness about the country’s situation through informative videos as well as organizing seminars and panel discussions.

They supported the Lebanese revolution against corruption with initiatives like Lebanon Corruption Facts, among many others.

Then, when the economy in Lebanon started deteriorating and people began struggling to provide even daily bread, this organization set up a clothes donation drive to help people donate clothes to Lebanese families.

Through an initiative called Online Fundraising Campaign, Impact Lebanon raised funds back in December 2019 for 9 charities in Lebanon, including The Lebanese Food Bank, The Happy Child Institute, Embrace, etc.

And when people started struggling with the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, Impact Lebanon organized a fundraiser to support vulnerable households in the face of coronavirus.

They also launched another online fundraiser with Meghterbin Mejtemiin to support the Baytna Baytak initiative that helped Lebanon’s health workers self-isolate.

When an even bigger disaster-hit Beirut and its people in August, Impact Lebanon launched the initiative Disaster Relief after Explosion in Beirut.

They wrote: “As our team at Impact Lebanon was trying to deal with the grief of watching our homeland crumble, we realized that we needed to act quick.”

“We launched a fundraiser with the aim of providing some relief to those afflicted by the calamity. The size of the support that we received was higher than we expected,” the organization said.

“We met our first target within minutes and by midnight we had crossed the £1 million mark… As the donations were pouring in, we were working on crystallizing the best ways for selecting the right NGOs to send our donations to.”

The JustGiving page, which the team of Impact Lebanon started just minutes after the Beirut explosion, raised about £5 million in a matter of days.

In addition to all that was mentioned above, Impact Lebanon is now supporting struggling industries by launching “Dikkeni”, an online store that welcomes Lebanese creative talents and gives them a chance to prosper.

Their work has been so remarkable that it has gained the trust of international donors and celebrities wanting to help with Beirut disaster relief.

In fact, Impact Lebanon has been one of the top trusted recipients of financial support for Lebanon, along with the Lebanese Red Cross.

And they aren’t done yet. Their fundraiser continues to date, aiming to raise £7,500,000. It is marking at this point over $8M dollars from 171,209 supporters.

The work that these amazing Lebanese people are doing is truly exceptional.

In their words, “Impact Lebanon represents both a diaspora that wants to act, not observes from afar, and people living in Lebanon who want to drive change. We want to play an effective role in creating a better future for our home country. We feel like we have a responsibility towards Lebanon. We are working towards driving change, but so much still needs to be done.”

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