Beirut Fundraising Initiative
My dear friend and architect in Beirut, Ola Khazaal, whose home was destroyed in the recent explosion, has assembled a team of professionals who are volunteering their time to immediately fix basic necessities in Lebanese homes that were completely destroyed, particularly for families who do not have the financial means to fix their homes themselves.
We are raising money to enable Ola and her architect team to purchase necessary materials to immediately fix these homes. They have already repaired doors, windows, plumbing and other basic necessities for more than 20 families whose homes were destroyed in this horrific explosion.
Since the Lebanese government has a high level of corruption, many citizens do not end up receiving donations sent from foreign countries. Furthermore, most donations that do make it to citizens are for medicine, medical equipment or food. Through our US-based GoFundMe campaign, we will ensure that 100% of funds raised go directly to her team to immediately buy materials to repair homes of specific families in dire need within 2 days of receiving the funds.
Thank you in advance for considering supporting this cause. Below are more details on what happened, progress Ola and her team have made, and how you can help.
On the 4th of August, 2020 at 6:07 pm, time stopped in Beirut. The explosion that day sent shockwaves across the city, causing widespread damage. It killed over 135 people, wounded over 5,000 and displaced over 300,000 many of which were already barely making it day by day. Officials linked the blast to around 2,750 tons of confiscated ammonium nitrate that for the past six years was being stored in a warehouse at the port. Many Lebanese citizens blame the explosion on the widespread mismanagement, negligence and corruption among the country’s ruling class.
The situation today is that more than 300,000 Lebanese citizens are unable to sleep in their own homes because of broken glass, torn down walls, broken doors or general extreme destruction of the building. Therefore, Ola’s initiative was born to raise funds and help people rebuild their homes.
(BBC news) Residential buildings near the port
Donations provided to this initiative will be immediately used to fix damaged homes and make them livable again. Each house will have its own file with documentation on all that was fixed, including bills, to ensure transparency on what is being paid out and how donations are used. The initiative has three different teams that are going to help as many houses as possible. Each team has manpower including electricians, carpenters and plumbers.
Furthermore, for now, five people will be responsible for documentation throughout this initiative:
– Ola as team leader
– 1 member for documenting each house’s damage and the fixes that are processing
– 1 member for updating the database on all the families that the team is helping
– 2 members working on logistics and communication with the contractors and the helpers, while controlling the time management of every worker on the ground
Every dollar counts. Even though countries are helping out, most of the donations are to the Red Cross which go towards medical equipment, medication and food. All of this is very important because many people lost their homes and are injured. They are in the worst psychological condition imaginable struggling with PTSD and the loss of all they held dear. Therefore, donations made to respective organizations will certainly ease the struggles of the community.
Equally important, however, is for people to have a (safe) roof over their head and through this initiative, this will be made possible with the help of the volunteers and the emotional and financial support of friends and caring individuals like yourself.
There are many homes in the capital Beirut that do not even have a main door yet. It is either broken or totally demolished due to the explosion. The insurance companies in Lebanon do not cover this kind of catastrophe, and in Lebanon people in general do not insure their homes. Therefore, the cost of repair is solely on the homeowners’ expense and due to the crashing economy, the pandemic and the toppling of the currency, many cannot afford to fix their homes and without help will end up homeless on the streets.
Many people who were not as affected opened their doors to others for the time being, yet people need to get their homes fixed as soon as possible, especially since crimes are on the rise. Unfortunately, some are taking advantage of the situation and stealing what is left in homes.
Funds are needed to help people rebuild their homes. The areas which Ola Khazaal and her team will work on are ones directly impacted by the explosion and vary between buildings that are on the newer side, in expensive areas and old homes in older buildings whose owners come from humble means. Donations made will help fix the most basic living necessities for more families in need by quickly organizing a team of volunteer workers and by purchasing material/products.
Ola Khazaal, Architect
As the main founder of Ola Khazaal Designs, Ola has 12 years of experience within the design and management consulting industry. With many citizens in Lebanon struggling due to the dire economic situation, Ola and her team, with the support of volunteers and donations, are able to help those in need by fixing their homes at no cost as a way of showing solidarity with and commitment to the wellbeing of the entire community.
Her career as an interior architect began while she was still an interior design student in the Lebanese International University in Beirut where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree of Interior Design in 2010. She developed her architectural computer programs’ skills to a professional level and taught AutoCad and 3Dmax in different institutions for more than 4 years.