The 10th Annual EOL Fundraising Dinner was held on April 7, 2019 at the Lebanese Taverna in Tysons Corner Galleria in Tysons Corner, Virginia. The Lebanese ambassador, members of the U.S. Congress, a member of the Lebanese Parliament, diplomats and 230 other honored guests attended the sold-out event.
In her “traditional two-minute speech,” chairperson, Kathy Feghali said the following:
When we started EOL, we had in mind to assist students with scholarships, but we quickly learned that there were other needs in the schools we serve:
They needed science and computer labs. And learning materials and libraries.
So we began funding school projects.
Soon we received requests for windows and doors to replace the plastic bags taped where glass and wood should be. How could children study in the cold mountains under such conditions?
So, we began funding small capital projects.
Then, we were totally shocked with the next request we received. Orphans living at their school in the snowy village of Mrouj had no blankets.
We began an emergency drive and quickly provided the funds to purchase blankets.
But nothing could have prepared me for the question a 12 year-old boy asked me almost two years ago while I was on a school visit.
He asked, “What does meat taste like?”
I looked at him and his eager friends, waiting for my response. I slowly said, “It isn’t all that great. Imjadra and fasoulya (lentils and beans) taste better and are better for you.”
When I left them, I cried. There was nothing I could do.
And now, it’s worse. Families—mothers, fathers and children—are asking for bread. They cannot afford to buy it.
As heartbreaking as it is, buying food is not our mission but if we succeed at our mission of educating children, we will give them the tools they need to find employment (in Lebanon or abroad) to support their families and provide a better future not only for Lebanon but for the entire region.
Tonight I want to thank you for being a positive force in desolate places. Your kindness and generosity makes it possible for thousands of children to dream of and work towards a better future.