Holiday Giving for Syrian Refugee Children

It’s Giving Tuesday 2021!! We know how difficult another pandemic year has been for us and you and our families, and yet so many of you are still looking for ways to give, for which we are so grateful.  If it’s in your means, we hope you will consider donating to the Smile & Olive Foundation, a volunteer effort incorporated here in the USA with the express purpose of raising funds to support Basmeh & Zeitooneh, a legally registered Lebanese charity based in Beirut, whose mission is to provide humanitarian support and assistance for Syrian refugees.

(Basmeh & Zeitooneh is Arabic for “a smile and an olive." You can learn about B&Z's amazing programs here .)

As many of you may already know, displaced Syrians fleeing Syria who have found some sort of refuge in Lebanon have arrived in a country already coping with its own legacy of civil war, violence, and corruption. The Port Explosion of August 2020 and the financial crisis in Lebanon has meant that there is even greater need among both Syrian refugees and Lebanese at the same time that less money is now available: funds held in Lebanese currency have almost lost their entire value and the government is restricting people's access to their accounts.

This has impacted several of Basmeh & Zeitooneh's projects. We at Smile & Olive are hoping to help make up the shortfall in the BLN program -- Basic Literacy and Numeracy at the Nabaa Center

Just last week, this four-year project at the center in the Nabaa/Burj Hammoud area in Beirut lost its funding, leaving 120 children without the classes and without psycho-social support. Currently, B&Z has no near prospects of new partnerships or funding for this specific program. 

Given the current situation in Lebanon, the parents of these children have few options to educate their children. To make up for the massive demand for enrollment because of the presence of Syrian children, Lebanese public schools have been offering a second school day in the afternoon, which for the last several years have targeted Syrian children. Now with many Lebanese parents moving their children from private to public schools because of the financial crisis, many of these Syrian children have already lost their seats.

Our project serves both Syrian and Lebanese children.  We provide educational assistance to vulnerable children and adolescents, specifically Syrians, through two mechanisms. The first one targets out-of-school children and helps them partly compensate for the skills they are lacking in English, Arabic, and math, while the second takes the shape of a remedial classes for children already attending schools but who are in need of support in specific concentrations.

Usually, a full year covering 120 Students, 4 teachers, 1 Education Coordinator, 1 Psychosocial Support Officer, and educational materials costs around 60,000 USD.  While B&Z needs this full amount and is looking for new partners and sustainable funding, we at Smile & Olive are hoping to contribute as much as possible to enable the program to resume in January.
We hope you will consider giving -- B&Z knows how to make even the smallest donations go far. Here  is a look at what we accomplished last year with our 2020 fundraiser and your generosity!
The Smile & Olive Foundation (“TSOF”), E.I. Number 81-5129089, is a District of Columbia nonprofit corporation that has received a ruling from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service that it is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). Charitable contributions to TSOF are tax-deductible to U.S. taxpayers to the extent permitted by section 170 of the Code.
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 17 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $5 
    • 18 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 19 d
  • Jennifer Gaver 
    • $100 
    • 20 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 22 d
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Fundraising team (3)

Alia Malek 
Brooklyn, NY
Smile and Olive Foundation 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
Learn more
Abdul Salkini 
Team member
Maeve Higgins 
Team member
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