With an estimated vulnerable Lebanese population of 1,5 million and a massive population of Syrian refugees (1.5 million as of October 2016), Lebanon is the first country in the world for the number of refugees per inhabitant (about 1/4). This population is predominantly poor and often living in unworthy and miserable conditions in urban areas (crowding, promiscuity, deplorable hygiene etc.).
In large cities, particularly in Beirut, the phenomenon of working and begging children in the streets is increasing. Children are often pushed by their parents, who are sometimes not allowed to work, in order to assure a minimum subsistence to their family. These children are highly vulnerable and victims, on a large scale, of abuse and exploitation of all kinds: family violence, sexual abuse, prostitution, forced labor. Many of these minors suffer from mental disorders.
Amel Association Center, a Lebanese non-governmental organization, with support of Samusocial International and the Crisis and Support Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France initiated the Mobile Protection Unit aimed to go directly to the most vulnerable and marginalized people in the streets in order to provide them with medico-social support and to tackle the health and social exclusion they live in. Considering that reducing their marginalization status is the first step to get these children and families out of the street, one of the main objectives of the project is to contribute in reconnecting them with the society in redirecting them to some competent organizations, state institutions, associations, etc.
Since the start of the project in May 2017 a mobile team composed of a nurse, a social worker, and a driver/social assistant has been operating in the most marginalized neighborhoods of the Beirut’s South suburb (Shwayfat, Bir Hassan, Ouzayi, Tarik el Matar, etc.).
They are in charge of identifying the vulnerable people exposed in the street (begging, working, roaming, living, or sleeping in the street). After having built a social link with them and having gained their trust, the team gives immediate first aid, nursing care and social support. Depending on their needs, the beneficiaries are referred to Amel centers or to any other competent organization to receive the support they need (in the medical, educational, psychosocial fields).
The vehicle of the team is specially equipped to conduct first aid cares, private consultations, and to transport the beneficiaries.
The team is in charge of accompanying the beneficiaries to their appointments/consultations, and follows up with them on a regular basis to make sure that the referral has been successful.
Achievements: During the period between July 2017 until December 2017 (6 month of activity), 301 vulnerable people, mostly children, have been identified.
→ 29 people received first medical aid in the streets by the team nurse,
→ 110 have been referenced and accompanied by Amel center or other associations (depending on the need): 27 in social education, 70 to medical centers,
→ 66% of the beneficiaries are under 12 years old, and 20% are between 12 and 20 years old.
Budget: 400,000 € covering particularly:
- Purchasing the vehicle;
- Equipping the vehicle;
- Purchasing the material and equipment;
- Purchasing medical supplies and medication;
- Covering the medical consultations / medical analysis;
- Covering the salaries of the coordination staff and mobile team members.
Partners: Samusocial International (France), the Crisis and Support Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France
Dr. Kamel Mohanna, President
Telephone: + 961 3 202 270