Liberum Editor-in-Chief hands over Readers’ Donations to Lebanese Elderly Home in need

Image credits: The Liberum's Editor-in-Chief, Arthur Blok- is unpacking a foldable wheelchair for the Notre Dame de la Délivrance residents. Picture by Philippe el Khoury.

The Liberum’s editor-in-chief was in Lebanon recently to hand over our readers' - modest - donations to the elderly home Notre Dame de la Délivrance. In the spirit of Christmas, The Liberum launched a new tradition to raise money for charity (2022). Last year we asked our readers to help Lebanon’s poor elders, who were hit extra hard by the collapse of the state.  

Some of our readers even sent personal messages to the editorial staff, skeptical that their donated money would reach the needy. Not all charitable institutions in Lebanon have a good name when it comes to spending donations from the West. That is understated.

This update shows our loyal readers that the money they donated did arrive at its destination: the poor and forgotten residents of Notre Dame de la Délivrance. The home in the small Mount Lebanon village of Hboub (close to Byblos) was built in the 1990s by a congregation of nuns called the Ordre des Religieuses Libanaises Maronites.

Against all odds, the home where both Christians and Muslims are welcome opened its doors in 1999, ten years after construction had started in the final phase of the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990).

Almost 25 years later, it is a daily struggle to keep the doors open and provide help to those in need.

The elderly home currently houses 250 patients. To provide proper care, at least 50 caretakers are needed; due to financial problems, there are only 22 permanent staff members, of which 12 are nuns. The ten paid caretakers dedicate their day and night to their patients and work on a minimum monthly salary of under 200 dollars.

Lebanon has been experiencing hyperinflation since 2020, significantly eroding consumer purchasing power and sending many households into poverty. The Lebanese pound fell from 1500 a U$ Dollar to around 89.500 in less than three years.

Most people in the home have serious diseases like Alzheimer’s’ or Parkinson's and need particular and intensive daily care. The collapsed Lebanese state barely provides care for its elderly citizens, and if you are from a family without money, there is nowhere to go. Not to mention the elderly without next of kin to help them.

The Liberum's Editor-in-Chief presents the foldable wheelchair for the Notre Dame de la Délivrance residents. Picture by Philippe el Khoury.

Last week, Arthur Blok visited the home with Philippe el Khoury (founder and CEO of ME Green, Lebanon’s leading sustainability enterprise). On behalf of The Liberum’s readers, Blok handed over $500- US in cash, a lightweight foldable wheelchair, and a walking stick to Mother Superior and other congregation sisters.

The sisters, who chose not to be mentioned by their names in the article, would like to thank our readers and El Khoury for all his help in the past years. It all started when the green entrepreneur visited the home one night and saw the elderly sitting in their rooms in candlelight. There was no money to put the lights on.

“People walked around with blankets wrapped around their bodies to beat the cold—a hazardous situation. We decided to install a network powered by solar panels and batteries for emergency lighting and oxygen machines to stay operational”, he said.

Solar panels on the roof of the Notre Dame de la Délivrance building. Picture by Arthur Blok.

Despite the help and donations of national and international companies and individuals over the past years, more help is urgently needed. The sisters are collecting money to install more solar panels and batteries in the building to become energy-independent.

Please use the donations link below the article; all donations will be sent to Congregate.

Even a small donation makes a huge difference.


Arthur Blok

Veteran journalist, author, moderator and entrepreneur. The man with the unapologetic opinion who is always ready to help you understand and simplify the most complex (global) matters. Just ask.
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