When I was in Lebanon, one of the most exciting ministries with whom I was introduced was Kids Alive (or Dar El Awad).
Kids Alive has been working in Lebanon for 62 years and has a school and residential program for troubled children. The Lebanese school has students from Kindergarten through 6th Grade with 75 children attending. The residential program is not an orphanage as the children return to their families on the weekend and the program is designed to help rebuild relationships between troubled children and their families of origin. Most of the children in the residential program are not Lebanese, but are Sudanese, Palestinian, Sri Lankan, or some other minority. In Lebanon, the darker the color of one’s skin, the more vulnerable a child (or adult) is to abuse and discrimination. Sadly, this color differentiation seems to be the case in many parts of the world. One of the primary ways the school is funded is through child sponsorship with 450 global donors and funders from all over the world. The staff of the school are all Christians although children are of all different religions. The children in Dar El Awlad have daily chapel services where the love of Jesus is shared through teaching and worship. Fifty percent of the residential children are Muslim. The programs at Kids Alive were among the most impressive that I saw in Lebanon. The school is committed to working with a terribly marginalized community by providing education, support, and care for children who are deeply troubled. There are many amazing avenues for involvement including teacher training, special programs for children, and also involvement in a new project that is beginning through Kids Alive (and Heart for Lebanon) in the south.
For more information about Kids Alive visit: http://www.kidsalive.org/around-the-world/middle-east/lebanon/.