On Tuesday 4 August 2020, a massive explosion destroyed thousands of homes and buildings in Beirut, killing at least 200 people, injuring 5,000, and leaving an estimated 300,000 homeless. The city is in chaos, and as Issam Bishara, the CEO of YMCA Lebanon, said: “We are all in shock. We have never faced such a terrible situation in our lives.” (link to our article).
Our friends at YMCA Lebanon, as well as their families, are all safe. But as Mr. Bishara says: “We can repair what the blast has destroyed, but we do not know how long it will take for our minds and hearts to recover from this tragedy”.
Lebanese people are now showing amazing solidarity, taking care of one another and supporting their neighbourhoods and communities. Despite being affected themselves, young members of the YMCA Lebanon are helping the most vulnerable families to clean their houses and to provide assistance. So far, families are in need of fresh and clean water, as well as stoves to warm up their meals. YMCA Lebanon has also been able to restart distributing medication to its usual beneficiaries.
Donate to support YMCA Lebanon programmes
On 5 August, the World YMCA launched an emergency appeal. So far 10 000 US dollars have been collected through all YMCAs worldwide. Thank you to all who have supported our sisters and brothers in Beirut. But the needs are still huge, so we encourage more people to donate, and to share the donation online page to support YMCA Lebanon in their response and recovery programme.