Lebanon (MNN) — Beirut’s port caught fire again Thursday, sending a thick column of black smoke into the sky. Workers scattered and people opened their windows, fearful that another explosion would shatter the glass. Thankfully, no injuries were reported and the fire was soon put out. But the scare unsettled Beirut’s people, taking them right back to the day the city was decimated by last month’s blast.
Alia Abboud of the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development says for Beirut’s people, especially its children, the trauma continues. “Psychosocial support is a major area of focus. Our youth ministry has developed boxes that include reading material, crafts, and games to keep the children busy for about 15 to 20 days. We give those boxes to children who have been through traumatic experiences so they can express themselves through drawing and painting.”
LSESD is also working on setting up a playground so kids can distract and express themselves through play. Counselors will be available to work with them.
Beirut still lies in ruins after the explosion, and 300,000 people lost homes. LSESD is helping with recovery efforts. Abboud says they have provided meals and food vouchers to those who need them, as well as helping people fix up their homes.
LSESD is also working to fix up schools. Abboud says, “According to the Ministry of Education, 162 schools, public and private in Lebanon, have received material damages, some more than others. Amongst those are inclusive schools that have centers for special needs. At LSESD, special needs are one of our major areas of focus. [We want to] restore functionality in time for when the schools open on September 28.”
Abboud says schools with special needs often are not a priority even in the best of times, and certainly not after this disaster. You can support this work by donating to LSESD’s relief efforts.
Pray God will provide for relief efforts in Beirut, and pray for Christians in the city as they show Christ’s love by caring for their neighbors.
The header image shows the ruined Port of Beirut after the August 4 explosion. (Photo by rashid khreiss on Unsplash)