Child Protection, Gender equity, Dignity for the elders
Support for orphans and people suffering from extreme poverty
Empowering Youth through Education and TVET
Supporting people with physical or mental disabilities
Providing medical & mental care to vulnerable people
Sustainable Living for Underprivileged Communities
The Social Welfare Institutions (SWI) were created in 1917 as a modest orphanage located in Zokak EL Blat (Beirut) and pursued their charity mission and developed since then. Today it can be defined as a non-governmental national charity organisation which offers a whole range of general and specialised social services through 54 centres covering the whole Lebanese territory, to a population of approximately 11,000 persons belonging to the most disadvantaged categories of the society, from abandoned new born babies up to elderly people. These services are provided by a specialised and high qualified staff of almost a thousand employees.
The SWI are funded by individual donations and charities, and are supported by the Ministry of Social Affairs which contributes in part to the cost of services destined to determined social categories.
The most disadvantaged social categories, including:
- Abandoned children
- School drop-outs
- People with learning difficulties
- People with special physical needs (hard of hearing, visually impaired, disabled) and special psychological needs (fit for schooling and training)
- People with social difficulties
- Vulnerable women
- Working women’s children
- Needy families
- Elderly (autonomous)
The SWI are mobilising all their efforts in order to provide comprehensive specialised care and services to ensure a healthy and favourable family environment to all SWI beneficiairies:
1. Needs Assessment:
The economic crises and successive wars have exacerbated the social problems (broken homes, abandoned children, youngsters in danger, revenue loss, etc.) and consequently increased the needs of the vulnerable populations. The SWI are committed to identify and assess the needs of such populations on a case by case basis, and to guide the concerned persons towards the specialised care centers while preserving their full integration into the community.
2. Internal Care:
Internal care is the service provided mainly to orphans and abandoned children, by which the children are provided with a home under the supervision of male and female personnel in their capacity as tutors. The tutor is the basic reference on whom the child can rely at all moments. Furthermore, the tutor maintains the contact with the family and supervises, if needed the school education and answers to any eventual needs of the child.
3. Academic and Extra-Academic Education:
3.1. Academic Education:
The SWI are aware of the crucial importance of education for the personality and capacities building up in order for a person to fully participate in the social development. As social development is at the heart of the SWI vision, education remains at the centre of all the provided services. Two thirds of the children are thus pursuing their studies in 40 external centres spread all over the country. All of the children are, in case of need, supported by a specialised staff after school to ensure high levels of achievements.
3.2. Extra-Academic Education:
For children with schooling difficulties or who have been rejected by schools.
4. Special Education:
Children with special physical and psychological needs are subject to a special high quality education dispensed by a specialised team with academic, educational and medical skills. Additionally, modern and specially conceived equipmenst (such as computers for visually impaired, specially designed equipments for hearing impaired and deaf and dumb) is provided to the children as the case may be.
5. Rehabilitation and Additional Care:
People with special needs (fit for education and training) receive special care in order to help them to overcome their difficulties and acquire a scholarly or professional education. Some special cases may require additional physiological care, special support for elocution, sensory, motor and psychological improvement at the SWI specialised centres.
6. Vocational Learning and Training:
Vocational learning and training programmes provided by public and private schooling are offered to a public of young people who are either in a difficult situation or not, with a view to offering them the opportunity of acquiring professional abilities and financial autonomy. Two training cycles of two and four years are available.
7. Job Seeking Help:
The SWI offer advice and counselling regarding the job seeking procedure to young trainees who are either in difficult situation or not in order to help them find jobs, through a team of specialised professionals.
8. Family Support:
8.1. Assistance to Widows and Divorcees:
Al Aman program has been conceived in order to help and support needy widows and divorcees and their children through financial and material assistance as well as psychological counselling support provided by specialised women’s teams.
8.2. Women’s Empowerement:
Attentive to the problems encountered by less fortunate women, the SWI are committed to provide them with learning and training opportunities, intensive courses in sewing, manual and craft works, cooking, information technology, cosmetics and adult literacy programs. Furthermore, additional services such as social and psychological support and sanitary and working environment conscienceness raising are also offered.
8.3. Care for Working Mothers Children:
With a view to encouraging and supporting working mothers with limited income, SWI have created a number of low cost centers for childcare during working hours.
8.4. Integrative Childcare for Children with Special Needs:
Children with special needs are taken care through special services and their mothers are financially supported by SWI. The aim of this service is to offer the best opportunities for a successful social insertion.
8.5. Care Provided to (Autonomous) Elderly:
As they constitute a highly valuable asset for the community, elderly people are specially taken care of and provided with special services such as elderly homes and third age clubs. Furthermore, SWI offer onsite services to people who chose to remain in their own houses provided by specialised and dedicated nurses.
Special programs regarding sanitation, awareness, prevention, vaccination and hygiene are provided to all beneficiaries of SWI. They are further submitted to regular medical checkups and and provided with healthcare informative leaflets.
The medical staff includes a number of specialised physicians (pediatricians, dentists, neurologists, geriatricians, otorhinolaryngologists and general practitioners) who are assisted by a team of nurses and a number of volunteers (gynecologists, dermatologists, ophtalmologists, urologists, etc.).
SWI beneficiaries are provided balanced nutrition methods and programs in order to ensure a healthy diet which is consistent with international standards according to age and special needs. A team of nutrition specialists and dieticians are active on the ground in order to guarantee a diversified and balanced diet.
Other Activities and Services:
- Educational, cultural, sports, recreational and activities related to the environment protection
- Activities for children
- Theater and opera performances
- Organisation of arts and hand-crafted exhibitions
- Summer camps
- Development of awareness regarding the rights and duties of people with special needs
- Trips and travels
- Organisation and celebration of national, regional and international events
- Prevention and awareness enhancement workshops
- Educational common training with pupils attending other institutions