With the outbreak of COVID-19 and Lebanon’s swirling economic crisis, it is a fact that people are becoming more vulnerable by the day. Livelihood opportunities are scarce, and income inequality is wide and it is estimated that more than half of the Lebanese are living below poverty lines; and what the future holds is still unclear.
With the generous contributions of the Mission470 donors, the dedicated efforts of the Ali Ghandour Center partners: LLWB-Lebanese League for Women in Business – LLWB, Environmental Sustainable Development Unit at AUB – ESDU/AUB) AUB Neighborhood Initiative and Ruwwad Al Tanmiya Lebanon, with the support of IC, and the dedicated team work of all AGC Student Leaders, Mission470 has reached its destination!
All 470 families have been reached with food and hygiene baskets and 300 of those have been offered seeds and seedlings.
Each of the items in the baskets was carefully selected and make up a diversity of nutritious and delicious items, which were not only selected based on their shelf life or price, but also on their quality and potential to be found locally, produced by local women and men in remote villages.
470 KG of tomato paste, 940 Baladi soap bars, 470 KG of jams, 47 KG of “Zhourat tea” and 353 L. of olive oil were purchased from local producers from different areas in Lebanon. Through this approach, Mission 470 was able to contribute to the circular economy and not only reach vulnerable people with items they urgently need, but also allowed other vulnerable people to sell their mouneh produces.
Each of the baskets also included 2 KG of lentils, 2 KG of rice, 2 KG of “borghol”, 2 KG of salt, 1 KG of sugar, 5 L. sunflower oil, 1 KG of pasta, 800 G of canned green peas, 800 G of canned “foul”, 400 G of canned chick peas, and 2 tuna in oil cans.
Dishwashing soap, tissues and toilet papers, and a bottle of bleach solution were also part of the baskets.
The baskets were distributed by our partners: #LLWB, # AUB Neighborhood Initiative, #Ruwwad Al Tanmiya Lebanon, # Ardi Ardak, as follows:
Food and hygiene baskets:
150 baskets were distributed in Tripoli
150 baskets were distributed in the West Bekaa
150 baskets were distributed in Beirut
20 baskets were distributed to members of IC community.
300 Seeds and Seedlings were distributed in Akkar
A special thanks goes to ARAMEX for their amazing contribution to our Mission! The AGC is proud to have had you as a partner and is thankful for the excellent service and generosity!
Because of the outbreak and safety concerns, only few AGC Student Leaders were able to join the distribution in Beirut with #AUB Neighborhood Initiative, and here’s what they had to say:
“What we saw was preposterous inequality and it’s happening just a few blocks away from our school! During the distribution and as I peeked into people’s homes, I couldn’t believe how those families have been surviving their living conditions. The gap of wealth is shocking in those narrow streets of Ein Mreisseh”. Tony Yammine
“My parents have always told me how lucky I really am, but today I had really understood what they meant. As we walked the street of Beirut I fully understood the meaning of poverty. I met people who were not given their basic rights. People who had little to no food and people who have been neglected by the government. This experience also opened my eyes and has taught me how beautiful old architecture really is and how unlucky we are that we are witnessing its disappearance. ” Michael Hawa
“It’s just sad to see how much the world has evolved and how many people it has left behind. The contrast between the richest and the poorest left me in awe. I was shocked to see how close yet so far those people are from each other”. Joud Sleilaty
“I was angry at myself for never realizing that many people live in such horrible conditions right under our noses. I am unable to get over the cruel irony of having families living in slums, with fancy buildings casting their shadows over them, and despite all that, the people still found it in themselves to smile as they welcomed us to receive their baskets.” Nayla Shehadi