According to the World Bank, Lebanon is facing one of the world’s worst economic and financial crises in the last 150 years.
For nearly three years, Lebanon has been assailed by the most devastating, multi-pronged crisis in its modern history. The financial crisis that started in October 2019 has been further exacerbated by the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the massive Port of Beirut explosion in August 2020.
The truth is, little has happened beyond rising economic imbalances and deteriorating socioeconomic conditions to “fix” the core problems of Lebanon. “Why not?” is the question.
The one-word answer is, corruption.
It is estimated that 10% of the people control 90% of the wealth in Lebanon. This has pushed around 80% of its people below the poverty line. The ones hurt the most by this crisis are the children, yet they are the hope for the future of Lebanon and beyond.
Estimates say that there are approximately 631,000 refugee children between the ages of 3 and 18 in Lebanon. Most of these children are living in extreme poverty and have no access to an education. As a result, children are frequently exploited for labor, trafficked, abused, and recruited by extremist groups. These children are at risk of becoming a lost generation.
This means that the corruption, which is the foundational problem, will become a much larger problem as these children grow up.
The only answer to corruption is leading people to have Biblically-based values. A person who has a set of personal core values that are based in truth; the truth of the Gospel.
Heart for Lebanon has two environments that addresses this injustice for children. One is the H.O.P.E. (Helping Overcome Poverty through Education) Program. We currently have 950 children enrolled in the H.O.P.E. Program at two centers; one in the Bekaa Valley and one in Southern Lebanon. Children enrolled in our educational program receive access to a quality education in a safe environment, facilitated by trained Christian teachers passionate about educating and discipling the children they teach. Our students are enrolled in a 10-month academic year and are taught math, science, reading, Arabic, and English as well as biblical character traits and leadership skills. The children also can attend computer classes. The H.O.P.E. Program is having a profound impact on the lives of these children and their families, while preparing them to be educated and equipped leaders with the potential to transform their communities.
Over the past six years several students have “graduated” from Heart for Lebanon’s H.O.P.E. Program into higher education. We at Heart for Lebanon do not abandon them just because they have aged out of our programs. We help them continue their education at formal schools when possible. It’s a core value for us at Heart for Lebanon to add value to people who in return have a heart and passion to add value to other people. We call these students Scholarship Students.
While the public and/or “Christian Schools” do not teach Bible as we do, both invite our Hope on Wheels ministry to come and present Bible-based programs to their students.
For 2023, we are adding 30 Scholarship Students. This breaks down to adding 5 Scholarship Students in the Bekaa and 25 Scholarship Students in the South. All these Scholarship Students are Syrian Arabs or Kurds.
Each Scholarship Student receives the following:
- Monthly food package for the student and his/her family.
- Scholarship support for their higher education beyond Heart for Lebanon’s H.O.P.E. Program.
- Monthly follow up for the students and their family by our teachers and staff.
- Access to Heart for Lebanon’s sports and fun activities as well as our Hope on Wheels Club programs.
- Appropriate follow up on their educational progress with the institutions they are attending.
We are passionate about doing everything we can to train up children with a Biblical worldview who will become the future leaders inside and outside of Lebanon.
Please keep these students in your prayers!