Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper


Lebanon’s Children Need Your Help

The explosion at the port of Beirut on August 4th rocked Lebanon to its core. The shockwave was felt over 150 miles away in Cyprus. My cousin who lives about 45 minutes away from the city told me, “It felt like an earthquake. I thought the earth was going to break in two and swallow me”. Nobody knew what had happened in that instant. It was later clarified that 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored at the port for the past seven years had exploded. It has been compared to the Hiroshima bomb, making it the third largest atomic bomb to ever happen. This has left at least 200 people deceased, over 300,000 people displaced from their homes, and a large amount of people still missing to this day. The port of Beirut was Lebanon’s main source of food and medicine. Hospitals are overwhelmed with the amount of recovering patients from the blast and Covid-19 related patients, especially because the bomb destroyed four major hospitals of Beirut.

In response to the explosion, Lebanon received lots of international media attention and support from France. As corrupt as the Lebanese government is, they didn’t spare a single penny to help rebuild or give back to their people. However, NGOs in Lebanon have tried to offer what the government lacks to provide. The volunteers have rebuilt houses and have supplied survivors with food and shelter.

The education system in Lebanon is much different than in the United States. In Lebanon, all schools require a fee or tuition in order to accept a student. Public schools are overfilled with students while many are not able to afford the tuition of private schooling. I am a part of an international youth organization called “Fight the Silence” and we have started a GoFundMe to support four families who are unable to send their children to a school called Saint Georges Bsalim. “Education in third world countries,” as one of our Executives explains, “can be considered a luxury to many people. Because it comes at a cost, many parents are unable to send their children to school. A lot of parents have to make sacrifices for their children and choose between their education or necessities like clothes and food. We wanted to make it easier for these people to not have to make these tough decisions by helping them financially with their education.” These four families have two children each, making a grand total of eight kids who aren’t able to afford an education. Not only are these families suffering from the aftermath of the bomb and the current economic crisis, but they also face a variety of health impediments such as cancer, epilepsy and heart diseases, which has placed a heavy burden on their finances. The cost of the annual tuition is $600 but it also provides the students with notebooks, pencils, crayons, textbooks, etc.

Lebanon’s humanitarian crisis has escalated rapidly after the explosion. Many are still struggling to survive after 3 months. The media covers very little of what’s truly happening there. The Lebanese have suffered enough this 2020. Any donations are greatly appreciated. As said by one of our FTS executives, Eveen Haddad, “If you were in a situation where you quickly needed money to help the situation you’re in, you’re going to be wishing for any penny you could get. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Wouldn’t you want someone to donate? I would, and that’s why you should donate; life is hard but together we can make it easier. Thank you in advance for your generosity and compassion:


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