ABC lay the foundation stone of Dar Al Amal's new shelter in Choueifat
- Lebanon: Saturday, March 02 - 2013 at 10:00
- PRESS RELEASE
ABC, the leading retailer in Lebanon, announced today the results of its 2012 'Small Bear Big Heart' initiative raising more than 56 million Lebanese pounds to Dar Al Amal in support of children prevention and rehabilitation.
Following the programme previous success, ABC decided this year to involve its customers, fans and staff in the selection process of the cause through a voting campaign on Facebook making 'Small Bear Big Heart' a signature programme during Christmas. Following vote's results, ABC allied with Dar Al-Amal, non-governmental organization founded in 1970 to support children prevention and rehabilitation in Lebanon.
"Drawing on ABC's commitment to giving back to the Lebanese community within which it has been operating for the past 76 years, we launched in 2010 the Small Bear Big Heart initiative aiming at adopting a children-related cause every year", said Robert Fadel, Chairman of ABC. "Our support to Dar Al-Amal stems from our belief that every child has the right to get the best care and support as children are the nation's future. Our mission is to help prevent all kinds of violence against children and also rehabilitate children suffering from abuse and neglect as it is within our responsibility to protect the future of our country," he added.
Across the programme ABC focuses on two main pillars: Fund raising through teddy bears sale and creating awareness of children-related problems arising in the society through the impressive in-store activation and the involvement of all ABC staff in making the campaign a tremendous success.
"Dar al-Amal mission is to prevent and protect vulnerable children from all sorts of violence, exploitation, abuse and to help marginalized people regain their dignity, and reintegrate them into the society" said Habib Hatem, President of Dar Al Amal. "Choueifat shelter will receive without discrimination children at risk, who live in difficult social and familial conditions, who need for a certain period, to be far from the family and the community, in order to protect them from violence and to help them to realize their life project."
Mr. Hatem also stressed on the difference that companies could make in a children lives by supporting local NGO's: "We highly appreciate ABC's donation that will help Dar Al Amal fulfil its mission. ABC is leading the way for other companies to assure that the most vulnerable children in the society are seen, respected and cared for", he added.
"In the country of outstanding issues, childhood causes take us from the brutality of politics to the humanitarian face of politics. Children today are at risk more than ever, as they are exposed to a thousand form of violence: physical, moral and sexual abuse and the latest is kidnapping. What we are witnessing today is only the tip of the iceberg and this is what appears in the media. It's about time to admit violence is affecting our children, hence the importance of Dar Al Amal initiative in a time we are in dire need to a foundation where every child feels the security of living within a family" said Minister of Social Affairs Wael Abou Faour.
"There is an increasing need to develop such centers that provide care and shelter for children, foundations that are able to play the family role. I take this opportunity to announce an upcoming initiative by the Ministry of Social Affairs to cover all expenses of Dar Al Amal children", he added.
The Mayor of Choueifat Mr. Melhem Al Souki congratulated Dar Al Amal on the inauguration of the new shelter which will provide abused children with a meeting place and hope for a brighter future.
"Choosing the heart of Choueifat Old Souk to inaugurate this shelter has an emotional significance as this particular place witnessed the unity of neighboring families originated from various communities who maintained their values, ethics and good reputation for years. The cooperation between civil society and government institutions is a must to ensure the best possible care for our children and Dar Al Amal has the full support of Choueifat Municipality. I'm sure this shelter will be of comfort to abused children, healing their suffering and easing their sorrow," he said.
ABC will closely follow-up with Dar Al Amal on Choueifat shelter work throughout the year. Through the Small Bear Big Heart signature programme, ABC will continue to spread joy and hope in the hearts of Lebanon's children.
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