You've arrived in Lebanon, where a quarter of its population are refugees fleeing the conflict over the border in Syria – a country 18 times larger than Lebanon.
Come with us and see a World of Difference in the city of Beirut, where Tearfund's partners are offering a welcome home to refugees, while the country faces its own problems...
Refugees live in Lebanon
of the population are refugees from Syria
Syrian refugees have received monthly food and hygiene supplies
Tearfund has been working in Lebanon since early 2013, in response to the refugee crisis caused by the conflict in Syria. Peacebuilding is a key part of our work, but more recently we've been responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Beirut explosion.
Tearfund's partner supports the Tahaddi Education Center, situated in the heart of a refugee settlement, which is reaching out with love and care to provide a welcome to Syrian families.
Rami Kaskas, Tearfund's Syria Operational Support Manager believes it is crucial that Christians from Syria are part of peacebuilding and helping with the country's reconstruction.
For me it is important to work for a Christian organisation. I want to practise my faith, as a Christian Syrian and see how I can help people using those values. We are here to build peace and love among the Syrian community. Our strategy is about peace building, social cohesion and trauma support. Through Tearfund's values and faith, we can really deliver these to the Syrian people.
Saif fled Syria because of the conflict, arriving in Lebanon with nothing. Despite being 12 years old, he had to work. A keen footballer, Saif joined Play for Peace, a Tearfund partner project. It welcomes children from all backgrounds, on and off the football pitch, to bring communities together.
"When I play football, it takes me out of this world," says Saif, now aged 18. "Without Play for Peace, I would still be facing the same problems. They taught me to control my emotions. If I return to Syria and become a football coach, I'll teach my players to live with peace."
The explosion that hit Beirut last August was one of the largest non-nuclear blasts ever. Caused by improperly stored ammonium nitrate, it left more than 200 people dead, at least 6,500 injured and over 300,000 homeless.
Baqil, age 13, was on his balcony when he saw smoke rising from the nearby port. After the explosion, he ran inside and grabbed his two-year-old sister. He saved her life, but the blast broke six bones in Baqil's skull, leaving him in a coma. Friends from a Tearfund-supported youth centre helped to clear his home when he was released from hospital.
The offering of tea has become a symbol of Arabic hospitality. Upon entering a home, you will always be provided with a brew. Arabic tea (شاي عربي /shay arabiyy) has been the beverage of choice for centuries across the Middle East.
Although Syrian refugees often arrived in Lebanon with nothing, they still uphold the tradition of giving their guests hot sweet tea, always from a pot on a tray with the beverage served in small glass cups.
We hope you enjoyed your time in Lebanon. Where will you be visiting next? Well, you'll just have to wait and see…