Rotary supports the forgotten victims of Beirut port
On 4 August 2020, Beirut was devastated by one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history: the cause was the deflagration resulting from the detonation of a loosely stored stockpile of ammonium nitrate fertilizer.
The consequences were disastrous: the port was destroyed, more than half of the city was damaged, more than 200 people were killed, 7,000 were injured, and hundreds were left with permanent disabilities.
Months later, the effects of the episode are now affecting many aspects of life in a country struggling to regain normalcy. The Lebanese pound has lost 90% of its value since October 2019, eroding the population’s ability to spend. Hospitals, schools, and even bakeries are suffering severe energy shortages. Healthcare is lacking, and the Lebanese government has removed or reduced subsidies.
This is the background to a vital solidarity initiative that saw Magic among the supporting companies: it was a project to supply medical and dental equipment needed to reactivate the medical clinic of the Lebanese association Mother and Childhood Aid, which was severely damaged by the explosion.
The health center is in the district of Mar Mikhael in Beirut. It offers free medical care and assistance in suburban areas with medical ambulances, activities to protect children and the elderly, distribution of goods and gifts, and a canteen for the elderly poor in the area.
The total amount of the operation was about EUR 40,000, and the allocation of the assets was completed in February 2023.
Mara Galli, Magic’s Chief Executive Officer explains:
It was gratifying for me to have also played an active role in managing the organizational activities. The satisfaction of having contributed to the re-opening of such a valuable service for the Lebanese community repaid the many efforts I made.
The charitable initiative was set up by the MAMRE Onlus association, which has been active for years with humanitarian projects in disadvantaged areas, and the Rotary Club Borgomanero-Arona. They were joined by Pallanza-Stresa, Gattinara, Orta San Giulio, Valsesia Rotary Clubs, and the French one of Brignoles.
Massimo Latorraca, president of the Rotary Club Borgomanero-Arona said:
This is an operation in which Rotary clubs and many businesses have proudly participated, united by the spirit of solidarity and service.
The international project also received a major financial contribution from Italian Rotary District 2031, in addition to an international grant from The Rotary Foundation.
The Rotary Club of Chtaura – Bekaa Gate (Lebanon) helped in coordinating the operations in Beirut.