*SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATES*
On August 4th, 2020 Beirut City was hit by a massive explosion which has left most of the city severely damaged, killing almost 150 people, injuring over 6000 people and leaving over 300,000 people homeless and many more emotionally scarred for life.
Many of our community members live in and around the neighborhoods of Achrafieh which is now completely destroyed. Those who had as little as a simple roof over their heads, now have rubble, dust and glass.
“Beirut!!! I and my family are fine, we are worried about the news tomorrow. We are fine physically, but morally and emotionally there is no one fine”
Person living with HIV, 25 years old, Beirut.
As the local authorities in Lebanon have failed again to act or support, we only have each other. The local community has been working hard to support each other with cleaning, housing, food, shelter and medical support.
“Watching the news and seeing the city and the damage almost all my friends have had to their houses it is a terrible terrible day for Beirut. I have never been this scared in my life.”
Gay man, Sex Worker, 34 years old, Beirut.
Our communities of LGBTIQ and Key Populations including People living with HIV are always the most impacted. A while back during the economic crisis and the covid19 pandemic the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality* has been supporting as many community members as we could. Now with the explosion our community needs a lot of help.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, people living with HIV and key populations are the main target of this fundraiser. While we do acknowledge the larger need for support, this fundraiser hopes to answer to those with limited access to services.
In this time our community needs you, if you know someone who needs support they may contact us on +961 81 273 763.
The emergency line will be open to receive all requests and a team of AFE staff will be calling all individuals and documenting requests through an internally created matrix which will allow us to identify requests based on needs and level of support requested.
Many people have lost their livelihood, this fund will help support basic needs of our communities from food boxes, sanitation and COVID19 prevention kits, housing and shelter, support for medical testing, doctor visits, off the shelf treatments and psychological support. Once cases are identified the AFE team will coordinate procurement of services and follow up with delivery of relief and support of services.
Our community is strong and resilient, but at this point we are broken and we need your support.
“Being Trans means that you always have to start over. What is destroyed, will be built. Better and more beautiful than before”
Trans Woman, 31 years old, Beirut, lost her home.
If you wish to support our efforts, you may do so through this GoFundMe appeal set up by our friends Johnny Tohme and Joel Bedos outside Lebanon due to restrictions in Lebanon for online financial procedures.
Go Fund Me in Euros: Joel Bedos currently living in Paris France, is a friend to the organization and a partner and supporter of our work. Joel will be wiring us the money directly and is doing so on a voluntary basis without any profit to his person.
Go Fund me in US Dollars: Johnny who currently lives in San Francisco, USA, is a friend to the organization and a previous colleague who will be wiring us the money directly and is doing so on voluntary basis without any profit to his person.
AFE will publish the financial books for this donation on its website to ensure transparency of the fund management and spending.
If you wish to send large donations or Organizational donations you may contact Elie Ballan, director of the health program of the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality email@example.com
If you wish to follow up on all the updates of this relief project you may sign up to our newsletter on our website www.afemena.org/li-beirut
“We have always been like Beirut and the phoenix…. Whatever happens, we will get up from the ashes.”
Trans woman, 47 years old, Beirut.
*AFE: The Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality, is a regional Middle East North Africa organization that works to encourage and support sexual health, sexuality gender and bodily rights movements in the Middle East and North Africa through capacity building, knowledge production, protection and advocacy. (www.afemena.org)
UPDATE #1 – August 20, 2020
10 volunteers, many of them lost their livelihood and were directly affected by the blast. They came together to provide support for the community.
300 food boxes and 150 sanitation kits prepared and ready for distribution.
8 people aided with housing and providing shelter.
30 requests for house repairs received.
On the second week of relief work, assessment showed that at least
150 people are still waiting for other services such as
blood tests, medications and mental health support.
Your support makes a difference!
"[I volunteered] because we have to help those who help us, and because our community needs help. Participating in the relief work makes the mental impact the explosion had on me easier to manage."Volunteer 1
"I like to volunteer because it gives me a chance to give something back to the community and to try to make a difference. It also gives me the opportunity to develop some skills and some experience in the relief work."Volunteer 2