For the third consecutive year, and on the occasion of the UN’s International day of Families, BASSMA launched “World Family Month 2017: Empowering destitute families to build a stronger society”, under the patronage of H.E. the Minister of Social Affairs Pierre Bou Assi, in collaboration with the UN Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC Beirut) and in partnership with City Centre Beirut. A press conference was held at VOX cinemas to launch this year’s activations during the month of May. Initiatives include the “Meal-for-Meal” initiative with restaurant outlets Paul, Olio and Soto, which consists of a donation for every meal purchased to raise funds for hot meals for needy families; as well as the “Gift-for-Two” initiative with Joué Club, whereby 1 USD gets donated for every purchase of T’Mimi and VTech brands.
Speakers included Minister Bou Assi, Claudine Aoun Roukoz, President of the Lebanese Commission of Women Affairs, Margo Helou, UNIC Beirut Director, Sandra Klat Abdelnour, President of Bassma, as well as Mr. Sleiman Mallat, Senior Mall Manager – City Centre Beirut. Among those present were political figures, media partners, celebrities, advocates and Bassma supporters.
Commenting on the occasion, Minister Bou Assi invited the youth to volunteer and support non-governmental associations, stating that “social development is dependent on everyone and not only ministry. With the combined efforts of the needy, the ministry, and civil society we can reach the desired results.” He stressed on the importance of viewing the work of associations in a positive light, such as the vast achievements of Bassma, and not to give-in to frustrations that surround us. “When we all work together, think outside the box and exchanging expertise, we can find the right solutions; making sure to avoid politicizing these social issues.” He reinforced that the main purpose remains to help those in need through education and training to allow them to find jobs and ultimately become self-dependent in their lives.
For her part, Abdelnour highlighted the mission of Bassma and the NGO’s achievements to date: “This year, we celebrate 15 years of Bassma, but what is even more important is that we celebrate over 100,000 underprivileged individuals that have been supported. World Family Month has become a much anticipated time for us, as we see the community and various companies come together to support us in empowering deprived families to build a stronger society.”
Claudine Aoun Roukoz further added: “Poverty and family disintegration are at the root of the problems that our society faces. We do not need more plans, rather implementations and results. I aim to create a Ministry for Family, Children and Women; as families are at the core of society and by protecting them we are protecting it. She further added “what is needed is to not only organize workshops for married couples before marriage, but more importantly before they are blessed with their first child.”
Helou said for her part that the process of building healthy societies and creating a better future for humankind starts at home, with the family. She commended the important work “Bassma” is doing to empower destitute families and help them achieve self-sufficiency. “The family plays a unique role in ensuring the health and well-being of children,” she said. Helou added that since 1993 the UN observes the International Day of Families on 15 May every year, and works on promoting awareness of issues relating to families through various activities with its partners.
As a continuous partner for Bassma, Mallat commented: “We are pleased to be partnering with Bassma for the third consecutive year. Noting that at City Centre Beirut, we aim to create great moments for everyone every day, with specific emphasis on families, we believe that “World Family Month” is the ideal time to support Bassma and provide a platform to shed light on the NGO’s achievements and various fundraising activities."
With each activity taken, Bassma hopes to become a step closer to breaking the cycle of poverty. Through the collective efforts of the campaign partners, and Bassma’ friends, a difference can be achieved.
For further information, visit www.bassma.org or visit BASSMA’s Facebook page.
BASSMA, a non-profit association for Social Development, founded in Lebanon in 2002, strives to empower deprived families to reach self-sufficiency, with a deep commitment to providing empathetic care and the highest quality of services to children and families in need, thanks to their fifteen years of experience in this field, showing that their empowerment benefits the entire community. In the beginning, the organization's activities were mostly aimed at providing food to the most underprivileged families. Then, it expanded its impact and started working towards families’ social integration and self-sufficiency, implementing a long-term and personalized rehabilitation program, focusing on education and employment, and assuring the families’ basic needs, to help them gain their financial and psychological independence.
The Family Rehabilitation Plan includes services such as food aid, clothing, education support (payment of school and book fees, tutoring, night school, etc.), medical assistance (hospitalization, medicines, exams, dental care, and psychological follow-up), rental fees, house renovations, etc. Through this tailored program, BASSMA believes that family empowerment is the key to success for a brighter future; since it helps deprived families break the vicious cycle of poverty. Families are recruited based on their financial needs, without any political or religious discrimination. Today, BASSMA has evolved into a comprehensive organization that directly supports around 100,000 people per year.