The Belgian Ambassador visits Amel in Khiyam

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The Belgian Ambassador to Lebanon, Mr. Koen Vervaeke, accompanied by his wife, and in the presence of businessman Mr. Ali Nasr and his wife as well, had the chance was received by Dr. Kamel Mohanna, founder of Amel Association International, at Amel center in Khiyam. On this occasion, the activities and programs implemented by the association in the city and its surroundings, especially in collaboration with the Belgium embassy, were presented to him, in the presence of Virginie Lefevre, member of the board of directors, Mrs. Maysam Haidar, head of the health and development center of Khiyam, Mohammad Al-Zayed, health coordinator, and the field teams.

Amel’s action aims at protecting the dignity and rights of the people of Khiyam – Marjayoun and the displaced populations, with a special focus on women and girls, and fighting against gender-based violence. Amel’s center in Khiam is dedicated to primary health care, maternal and child health, home  care, mental health and access to basic medicines. The education and development programs team presented the activities implemented according to and tailored to the needs of the local populations, as well as awareness-raising and social empowerment activities for women and girls aiming at protecting them from any form of violence and marginalization.

In light of this, Ambassador Vervaeke praised Amel’s commitment to a non-sectarian civil society. He also highlighted the humanitarian achievements of the association, which uses advanced technologies available in its centers, as well as the activity of the mobile clinic that manages to reach populations that are difficult to access. Amel stands by the side of people without discrimination, using all available means and working for partnerships focused on the benefit of people and the provision of their rights.

Mr. Nisr mentioned Amel’s roots among the local people, allowing it to act in unwavering support of the populations, who are the real partners of the association in its great mission since its creation. He thus believes that every Lebanese should be proud of what Amel has accomplished at the local and global levels.

Dr. Mohanna, for his part, thanked Belgium for its ongoing support to Amel’s mission, dedicated to people, and mentioned Mr. Nisr’s contributions and his support to the association’s activities. He also emphasized the essential mission that Amel has set for itself: to make a new culture emerge within the Lebanese society in the face of all the shortcomings, backwardness, and prejudices that tear Lebanon apart.

In this respect, Amel’s centers in the region of Marjeyoun-Hasbaya, grouped in Halta, Fardis, Al-Arqoub, Al-Khiyam, Ibel Al-Saqi, and Marjeyoun, represent an unique example of coexistence, integration and diversity in Lebanon. Their main mission is to promote human dignity and the culture of citizenship, as well as to work with all people, regardless of their affiliation, to develop their local communities and involve them in the process of change, in order to build a state of social justice.

Kamel Mohanna also reaffirmed Amel’s commitment to supporting citizens, conveying a culture of solidarity rather than pity, where the human being remains the heart of all action. Amel works tirelessly in favor of human dignity, and can rely on 30 centers, six mobile clinics, two mobile education units, and a special protection unit dedicated to street children, as well as on 1,500 full-time volunteers. The association is present in most of the regions of Lebanon, i.e in Ain El Remmaneh, Chiyah, Ersal, Kamed al-Loz, Ashrafieh, Bourj Hammoud.

Amel’s approach intends to present a model of action, turned towards sustainable solutions and is committed to providing the best development programs and services to ordinary people of the most marginalized areas. Ensuring access to basic rights requires global solidarity and responsibility on the part of decision-makers and influencers, as well as the presentation of a successful model.

Finally, the visit included a tour of the Khiam detention center to learn about the tragedy rooted in the history of South Lebanon and the suffering of the people under the occupation of the South before the liberation, which is a pivotal period in the life of Lebanon, during which Amel is committed to supporting the people despite all the dangers and challenges.