Basmeh & Zeitooneh is committed to serving Syrian refugees and the communities that are hosting them in Lebanon and Turkey. We were established by Syrian expatriates who realized short-term emergency measures were failing to meet refugee needs. Our founders are part of the community we serve. We live and work in the same communities as refugees, and we endeavor to help the local hosts as well displaced Syrians. We aim to adapt quickly to the community’s evolving needs. An ever-growing number of Syrians has been forced from their homes, taking up residence in Lebanon, where we began our work, and in Turkey, where we recently expanded. They don’t know how long they will have to live in temporary homes, waiting for the war in Syria to end. Our goal is to provide the range of services they need in order to live a life of dignity. In order to help as best we can, Basmeh & Zeitooneh has sought to empower refugees. Too often, they are reduced to victims of conflict who are highly dependent on assistance. We know that with proper support refugees can thrive even in the most turbulent times. A large number of international and local organizations are working in Lebanon, but most are highly specialized and refugees often find it hard to access their services.
Basmeh & Zeitooneh has taken a simpler, integrated approach to make it easy for people to find us. We have established community centers that are easily accessible by the refugees and their hosts, friendly and welcoming spaces where people can receive relief services, medical assistance, vocational training, schooling, peace education for their children, and employment. Today, Basmeh & Zeitooneh has two community centers in Beirut’s most populated refugee camps, Burj Al Barajneh and Shatila. The centers have emerged as a focal point not only for refugees but for the entire local community. In Beirut alone, more than 18,000 individuals are benefiting from Basmeh & Zeitooneh’s work. Because we work inside the camps, we are able to observe and cater to needs as they arise. We believe our program’s success stems from our intimate relationship with the refugees we serve. Welcome to Basmeh & Zeitooneh. Whether you’re looking to help us or simply to learn more about our work and the people we serve, you should find what you need here on our website.