9- Experience through the “Middle East Council of Churches” MECC

Experiences of: Mrs Marie Naltchayan ,Mrs Foutine Audi

Last update: 24 April 2024


Reference of Social Work In The Face of Crises and Disasters Booklets – Part Two

Researcher – Hiam Samaha Kahi
Research Assistant – Aimee Ghanem

There was a pioneering experience between 1980 and 1983 in Akkar district in the field of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction work between the Middle East Council of Churches and ELFS-USJ, with the support of the Canadian Embassy. Health care, prevention and education had a large share in these activities through campaigns to establish and support social and health care institutions and educational centres. Such a pilot programme was carried out in the village of “Qenia Akroum” in Akkar district, in which the director of the ELFS, Mrs. Marie Naltchayan, at that time has contributed with great efficiency and determination. Furthermore, she provided financial and moral support to the project despite the war circumstances and moving difficulty and dangers. Mrs Foutine Audi, a social worker of the Council of Churches played an active role in this programme, as her determination to overcome the challenges was the key element in the work success. In addition to the educational sessions, this programme included development projects in the field of agriculture, particularly olive growing. Later on, the activities were expanded to other regions.

Subsequently, work continued in the Akkar district through various social projects, in which the “Mouvement Social” participated, along with the Middle East Council of Churches; the promotion of both youth and women roles had the largest focus in these projects. The Ministry of Administrative Development, the Ministry of Social Affairs and municipalities also played a supportive role in rural, agricultural and handicraft development projects in that region.

Mrs. Audi said: “I remember all the stages of the work;it was a collective work in which everyone participated, whether he/she was a beneficiary, an assistant or a donor, where the beneficiary was feeling, at the end, that the project was his, because he named it, he participated in setting its goals and in its implementation, and because it responded to his urgent needs.”