Education and Opportunities for Lebanon (EOL) serves underprivileged school children of all religious faiths throughout Lebanon.
How We Operate
EOL is directed by a committee of Lebanese Americans. The school projects and scholarships it supports are currently funded through Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA, a registered charity in the United States). We take an inclusive approach to helping educate children who are often overlooked — especially the orphaned, the disadvantaged and the disabled.
On a project-by- project basis, EOL evaluates the needs of educational and child care institutions across Lebanon. CNEWA then distributes donor-contributed funds to ensure that vital projects thrive and scholarship monies are awarded. We help every child in need regardless of faith. It’s how EOL is helping educate a new generation — helping girls and boys build brighter, more hopeful lives.
From Helpless to Helpful
The Founding of Education and Opportunities for Lebanon (EOL)
In today’s world, it is not unusual for the average person to feel helpless, with little ability to impact major events. Most Lebanese have experienced more than their share of helplessness. Since the civil war began in 1975, we’ve watched in horror as one tragedy followed another. Often our best and only contribution is to make donations for urgent needs and remain optimistic.
In the fall of 2006, after yet another war had taken place, a group of Lebanese-American friends began meeting in the Washington D.C. area to talk about what they could do to make a difference, not only for those in immediate need of assistance, but also to reduce the likelihood of future conflicts. The group brainstormed and met with political, business and religious leaders. By early 2007, we knew how we could make a difference.
Children are the most helpless members of society and yet they own the future. If we could ensure every child in Lebanon received a proper education, we could impact the world they would live in. We could change the direction of this small country, with a population of approximately four million citizens and two million refugees.
There are basically three types of schools in Lebanon: the private (too expensive for the average family), the government (poorly rated and attended) and the parochial (located throughout the country and attended by children of all religious faiths). We realized we would have the most impact assisting the third group of schools.
We had to figure out how to help the largest number of students in the most efficient manner. To save costs, we decided not to become a 501(c)(3), but would instead direct the funds we raise through tax-exempt nonprofit organizations. EOL selects the schools and projects. We monitor all monies and visit the recipients in Lebanon. We are a completely volunteer-run organization.
To date, Education and Opportunities for Lebanon has helped over 11,000 students in 42 schools in every part of the country. They have benefited from scholarships, computer labs, science labs, safe play areas, warm classrooms and capital projects.
Although EOL has grown twenty-fold, we are still a small organization, but hope to continue expanding to provide assistance to the underprivileged Lebanese school children we serve.
It began as a dream, but today, thanks to the generous support we’ve received, it’s a reality. Together, we’ve gone from helpless to helpful.
Tel (703) 827 8757
Salim Jarawan, PhD
Magid Abraham, PhD
Amin Barakat, MD
Salim Butrus, MD
Karla Feghali, secretary
Dinner Chair / Fundraising
In Loving Memory of Founding Board Member, Ed Soma, MD