OutRight Action International has launched a campaign to support Helem, Lebanon’s oldest LGBT+ organisation. On Tuesday, August 4 2020, a devastating explosion tore through Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, destroying entire neighbourhoods, obliterating houses, killing over 200 people, and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, unable to meet their basic needs.
Helem is based less than 700 metres from the epicentre of the explosion and suffered heavy damages as a result. Thankfully no-one was in the centre at the time.
Helem's community and services centers were both heavily damaged in the catastrophe that hit Beirut on August 4. Our centers were less than 700 meters away from the blast but thankfully no one was in them at the time of the explosion and our team was not seriously injured
— Helem (@HelemLebanon) August 11, 2020
Many of Beirut’s LGBT+ community lived in neighbourhoods badly affected by the blast with those who survived now facing homelessness and an uncertain future.
Helem are continuing to offer support to the LGBT+ people affected by the explosion with their safe line remaining open.
Helem is working to rebuild the LGBT+ community centre, while also struggling to support countless LGBT+ people who have been affected by the explosion. Helem’s staff and volunteers are also engaged in city-wide relief efforts but are lacking resources to do so.
Tarek Zeidan, Executive Director of Helem, explains:
“Helem’s staff and volunteers have joined the relief effort in Beirut and are working to remove debris, help set up community kitchens, and dispense emergency aid to members of the community who have been affected by the explosion.
“The blast has left more than 300,000 individuals homeless. These funds will go towards helping secure shelter as well as to support our food distribution program which has benefited more than 800 individuals to date.”
OutRight has launched a fundraiser for @HelemLebanon, the oldest LGBTIQ organization in Lebanon, after they were hit by the #Beirut explosion. 100% of funds will be passed on to use for the support of the community, relief efforts, and other urgent needs. https://t.co/EDqc5CrRpp
— OutRight (@OutRightIntl) August 10, 2020
100% of all funds raised will be passed on to Helem to use for the support of the LGBT+ community in Lebanon, the centre’s relief efforts, and any other urgent needs on the ground resulting from this catastrophe.
Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, comments:
“OutRight’s mission is to work with local LGBTIQ organizations around the world to promote LGBTIQ equality. When crisis strikes, it is our duty and honour to do what we can to support local activists. This fund will support Helem to recover and rebuild so they can resume their work toward achieving a more equitable future for all LGBTIQ people in Lebanon.”
To make a contribution, visit OutRight Action International’s donation page.
© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.