Skip to content Skip to cookie consent
Tearfund home

More inspiring stories from young people in Lebanon

Ahead of International Youth Day on 12 August, read how young people in Lebanon are healing divides in their community.

Written by Tarryn Pegna | 10 Aug 2023

In a courtyard a wall has a painting of a rainbow and birds swooping next to it. In front of the painted wall are two benches.

A mural at a school in Beirut, Lebanon. Credit: Ruth Towell/Tearfund. Photo credit: Ruth Towell/Tearfund

Lebanon is rich in diversity. However, throughout history, deeply ingrained religious, ethnic and political divisions in Lebanon have led to unrest and violence. With increasing scarcity of resources, tensions are again rising. A group of young people has been working with our local partner there to help build new relationships across the divides.

As they have learned to listen to one another, to work alongside each other and to see past the things that make them different, the friendships that these young people have started to make have given them the desire to bridge divides, dispel preconceptions and become peacebuilders in their community.

Giving back to the community

As part of the programme run by our local partner, the young people were encouraged and supported to do something that would give back to their community – a particularly deprived area of Beirut, affected by a number of ethnic, religious and political tensions.

First, they came up with ideas of what they could do to reach out and provide something of value that would help people living around them, and then, with help from our partner staff, they set about achieving their goals.

Reaching the children

One group decided to run a drop-in session for children of all backgrounds in the neighbourhood to come and be entertained and have fun for an hour and a half.

In the midst of an incredibly difficult economic situation, they offered a space of brightness and joy to children in this diverse community.

The young people were very excited to run the event!

On the day, the children who attended the event had a great time playing lots of games, taking pictures and having their faces painted. The young people running it even prepared goodie bags and pizza for the children to have at the end of the session.

The event was so successful and everyone had such a great time that one of the young people suggested, ‘Let's keep this up every week. The children are so happy and this is a very joyful and heartwarming moment.’

Caring for the elderly

Since the start of the conflict in neighbouring Syria, Lebanon has generously welcomed around 1.5 million Syrian refugees into the country. However, this has added to the strain on the country’s struggling economy and, in many cases, fuelled tensions between refugees and the host community.

Many of the young people taking part in our partner’s programme are Syrian, and so they decided that, as a gesture of love and friendship, they would like to find a way to serve some of the older Lebanese people living in a home nearby.

After asking how they could be most helpful, they discovered that there was a real need for help to paint and repair one of the rooms where two older women live and have to spend most of their time.

The young people got some professional painters to show them how to do the job, and then set about giving the room a fresh coat of paint.

Croissants and company

Some of the other young people from the programme spent time visiting the older people in their rooms and handing out croissants, while having some lovely conversations with them. The young people asked lots of questions and helped to put smiles on the faces of the residents of the home.

The young people also did some really practical jobs like cleaning the hallway, picking up rubbish and fallen leaves around the building and grounds, and planting flowers in the garden.

The residents were very happy to meet the youth and said they felt it was a welcome change from their daily routine.

The young people themselves were also very touched by their time spent with the people in the home. They felt such a sense of achievement to have made a difference – and particularly to have improved the living conditions for the two women whose room they had painted.

Small seeds

Sometimes it is the simplest things that can make such a difference. From the smallest seeds of kindness, relationships can start to be built across divides.

No matter our age or stage of life, each of us has something to bring to make a difference in the world. As Christians, we believe God created each of us with a plan and a good purpose.

Poverty is not God’s plan. These young people are. You are.

Please will you pray with us today for young people in Lebanon and all around the world.

Pray for young people

    • Pray for the protection of young people and children everywhere. Ask God to help each of them access the opportunities and provision that they need in order to be able to thrive and to live out their God-given potential.
    • Lift up all those young people who have been caught up in contexts of conflict around the world. Pray that they will have the chance to enjoy being young and that their innocence and sense of joy will not be stolen from them.
    • Thank God for the group of young people working with our partner in Lebanon to help make a difference in their community. Pray that their peacebuilding actions will be a catalyst for change that spreads far and wide, bringing healing and restoration across divides.

Written by

Written by  Tarryn Pegna

Share this page

Share this page to spread the word and help support those in need.

Get our email updates

Learn about our work and stay in touch with Tearfund. Hear about our news, activities and appeals by email.

Sign up now - Get our email updates

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.