Hope for the Children of Lebanon - The Beirut Explosion, Three Years On
Penny Appeal are proudly partnering with the Beirut Marathon Association and their Right to Run initiative! Together, we’re creating a unique platform for children of all backgrounds to unite, overcome obstacles, and celebrate our common humanity.
Earlier today, a press conference took place at the Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand Hotel in Sin El Fil to kick off the eagerly anticipated initiative, sponsored by Penny Appeal.
This weekend will see the launch of an inspiring programme that aims to promote fitness, empowerment, and equality for all, with a special focus on underprivileged communities. The Right to Run series is an annual celebration organised by the Beirut Marathon Association, championing progress towards gender equality while acknowledging the ongoing need for a more inclusive society.
This incredible programme includes a range of races and activities, bringing together children aged 7 to 17 from diverse backgrounds and abilities. United by their shared commitment to breaking barriers and advocating for inclusion, these young runners are set to make a powerful impact. Penny Appeal are proud to be the lead sponsor in the delivery of this project, contributing towards our shared vision for a more inclusive society.
Today's launch event was a bittersweet moment for our CEO, Ridwana Wallace-Laher, who was in Beirut for the first time since visiting following the tragic explosion of August 2020. It only took a few minutes for the blast to destroy large portions of the city and cause mass devastation, but the people of Lebanon had been experiencing hardship and neglect for years before this tragedy occurred.
As part of Penny Appeal's Disaster Response Team, Ridwana was on the ground delivering critical aid in the days following the tragedy. In the aftermath, Penny Appeal and our partners helped 23,691 people in Lebanon, through the delivery of 21,000 hot meals, 7,080 food packs, 2,330 hygiene kits, 500 medical consultations, as well as community psychosocial support and shelter programming.
Three years later, Ridwana is back in Beirut, remembering the lives that were lost in the 2020 blast, while working towards building futures and opening opportunities for generations to come.
"As I stand before you in this beautiful city of Beirut, I am reminded of the heart-breaking scenes I witnessed first-hand in 2020 at the site of the explosion, and my heart is broken as I remember all of those who were affected by this horrific travesty," she told delegates at today's event.
"Out of such a horrific calamity however, we also saw the very best of communities, everyone coming together to help, support and rebuild the lives of those affected.
"The love, strength of community and unparalleled compassion that I witnessed in Lebanon has stayed with me ever since, and I’m really grateful to you all for allowing me and Penny Appeal the opportunity to come back to Beirut today for the Right to Run 2023."
The initiative behind this partnership is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and it's a privilege for Penny Appeal to be part of this empowering initiative. We look forward to cheering on our young runners as we come together, not only this weekend but over the coming years, in celebration of progress towards a more inclusive world.
Through sport, we have a unique opportunity to bring people together from all walks of life, and it's our sincere wish that this weekend will serve as a strong reminder of the power of community. Despite our differences, we have much more in common that unites us; no matter where you’re from or who you are – we all have the Right to Run!
Support Penny Appeal’s ongoing recovery efforts in Lebanon through our Lebanon Emergency page.
FRIDAY 28 JUL 2023