Lebanon (MNN) – Over three months after the August 4th Beirut Port explosion, individuals and schools struggle to rebuild.
Wissam Nasrallah with the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) says, “People are still reeling from the aftermath of the explosion. People are still rebuilding. There are still many homes that are unrepaired and so people are focused on that, especially with the rain season and winter at our doors.”
Amid this personal upheaval, families and teachers have had to adjust to an unusual school year. Blocked streets from economic protests, COVID-19 restrictions, and continued disruption from the August 4th explosion challenge the practical efforts of education.
According to UNESCO the explosion led to “partial or complete destruction of about 70 public schools and 50 private schools” in and around Beirut. Many struggle to rebuild their physical schools even as they adapt to new hybrid models of education.
Repairing Structures, Offering Hope
In these dark times, the Gospel mission of LSESD and their practical assistance shines bright. They have been working with local schools to restore buildings and provide educational stability for students.
Nasrallah says, “As LSESD we believe that education is one of the most important assets for our country. And as an organization that is dedicated to education, we felt our role in the aftermath of the explosion, amongst other things, is to help schools get back on their feet.”
LSESD’s own Beirut Baptist School suffered damage to windows, minor structural damage, and cracks. However, many schools closer to the blast site suffered worse fates.
In addition to their own repairs, LSESD is helping two Armenian evangelical schools, an Orthodox school, and a Sunni school in Beirut renovate parts of their facilities. Two of the schools exist less than one kilometer away from the blast and sustained heavy structural damages.
With so much to restore, LSESD has focused in on specific projects for these schools. For example, in several schools they are helping rebuild a special needs center or the conference hall.
Join the Work
Nasrallah asks for prayer for restoration efforts, but especially for the schools and their leaders.
“Pray for the schools as they continue their educational mandate and their educational mission, especially for evangelical schools. We know how valuable schools are for keeping hope alive in the hearts of hundreds of families, pray for wisdom for teachers, for the principals so that they may make the right decisions.”
There is still much rebuilding work to be done. If you would like to learn more and join LSESD’s efforts click here.
(Header Image Courtesy of LSESD)